The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ (Latin: Christi commilitones Pauperes Templique Solomonici), commonly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple (French: Ordre du Temple or Templiers) was one of the most famous Christian military orders. This organization was active for just under two centuries. It was founded in 1118 or 1119 by nine French knights led by Hugo de Payens after the First Crusade. Its original purpose was to protect the lives of Christians pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest. They were recognized by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Gormond of Picquigny, which gave them a rule of the Augustinian canons of the Holy Sepulchre.
Officially approved by the Catholic Church in 1129, the Knights Templar grew rapidly in size and power. The Knights Templar used it as distinctive a white robe with a red cross on it. Member of the Order of the Temple were among the best-trained military units that participated in the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the Order managed a complex economic structure throughout the Christian world, creating new financial techniques that constitute an early form of modern bank building and a series of fortifications throughout the Mediterranean and the Holy Land.