Knights Templar’s lost gold ‘treasure tunnels’ found beneath Israeli city

The Knights Templar had a stronghold in the Israeli city of Acre (Getty Images)

The secret of the lost gold of the Knights Templar may have finally been discovered.

Archaeologists in the Israeli coastal city of Acre have discovered a network of hidden underground tunnels they believe belonged to the famed Catholic warrior monks.

During the Crusades in the 11th, 12th and 13th century the Knights Templar fought on behalf of the Catholic church to try and claim the Holy Land from the Muslims. It is believed they may have used these tunnels to move gold around during the campaign.

Ever since the demise of the order in the 1300s, treasure hunters have looked for the mythical gold they may have left behind.

A National Geographic documentary followed a team of archaeologists led by American explorer Dr Albert Lin as they used cutting edge technology to unearth the tunnels beneath Acre – one of the last known headquarters of the order.

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Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was ordered burned at the stake by King Philip IV of France (Photo by Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images)

‘I’m in Israel in search of the Knights Templar. These warrior monks are the stuff of legend, and so is their gold,’ Dr Lin said during the programme’s broadcast on Sunday.

‘During the Crusades the Knights Templar battle for God, gold and glory. Somewhere in the modern city of Acre lies their command centre, and possibly their treasure.’

The team looked beneath the city of Acre using laser pulses (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Using a type of pulsed laser known as a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) device, the team were able to scan beneath the ground without disturbing anything.

The Nat Geo group’s work revealed not just tunnels, but also a guard house hidden beneath the modern city. They scanned the fortress footprint and recreated the Templar HQ with impressive 3D models. It showed how the Knights Templar moved the gold from the port to a ‘treasure tower’ without risking an attack.

‘The Templar’s hidden tunnels snaked beneath the streets,’ Dr Lin said. ‘They secretly transported gold to the Acre fortress’ crowning glory, its treasure tower.’

The remains of the ancient harbour at Acre (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The tower itself is buried under dirt and rock and it’s not clear whether there will be any attempt to try and excavate it in the future.

So although these vital new clues have been discovered, the exact wherabouts of the lost gold of the Knights Templar remains a mystery.


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