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Hell Is Real, If You Can Believe It

by Julian Wash, Contributor

Dear Humans,

Today I would like to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that can manifest thoughts and ideas into reality. We are able to sculpt our world much in the way an artist is free to sweep a brush across a canvas, extolling the essence of creation. But there are those who will guide our hand into painting by the number. And so we surrender our creativity to an invisible force that seems to follow an edict of conformity. Before you know it, the artist is painted into a corner.

Despite our powers of imagination and creativity, we choose to yield a good deal of our Divine authority to a lifeless entity called social order. It’s within the walls of this construct that we are bound. We are told who and what we are and given permission to proceed, so long as we keep our “brush” within the lines and boundaries. It’s a troublesome child indeed who chooses to color outside the box. They are labeled, among other things, a rebel or non-conformist.

But in all the constructs society has to offer, none are as potent, polarizing or volatile as the notion of a heaven and hell. These concepts are as old as the earliest transgressions, yet when challenged, all hell seems to breaks loose. When the commotion finally fades, none can articulate a meaningful argument. Not the devoutly religious, nor the adamant atheist.

In the following paragraphs I invite you to saddle up and come along with me to a rather hostile place, forged in the furnace of imagination. It’s been called many things, but hell if I know what it is. If we have time we might even knock on heaven’s door too. Not your average ride, but I think your horse is up for it. Mine is. After all these magnificent creatures have no reason to fear a place outside their awareness. So rider take heed and allow the horse to lead.

From Where I Stand

I try to imagine what life would have been like had I grown up on a desert island and was raised by a troop of gorillas. I like bananas, so this isn’t such a stretch. I would probably see myself as a mutation— also not a stretch. But as the years were to unfold, I wonder if I would have the same inner-awareness I have now? What spiritual or religious concepts would I have developed?

My actual experience is rather traditional by comparison, a Roman Catholic mother and protestant father. My mother had seriously considered becoming a nun before meeting my father. She fell in love and so her path took a notable turn. My father would not convert to Catholicism and so the priest would not allow the wedding. This was a jarring wakeup call to my formerly devoted mother. My parents ultimately wed at a county courthouse. Had she obeyed the Catholic Church, she would not have married my father and I would not be here today to tell you about it. Suffice to say— yes, I’m a bit critical of this construct called religion. I made it to this side so that I can at least offer my point of view. I’m immune to the persuasions of church. I am indeed that man on the desert island who has found his own truth— and the truth was there for the asking.

Just like a baby doesn’t like to be spoon-fed broccoli— I don’t like being spoon-fed religious doctrine. It’s going to get all over the place if someone tries. But like so many of the readers drawn to this website, I am a deeply spiritual person. I have a reverence for all life. I don’t step on spiders – I catch them. I’m attuned to the rhythm of nature and take solace in a garden. And so I find myself on the outside looking in. And there is relative peace, balance and tranquility in this world. Then I turn on the inside looking out. Such a strange and curious world I see out there.

Hell Is Real

Hell is real, thanks to those who’ve been conditioned into believing it. It is real— right down to the sulfurous gas, fiery temperatures and trident forks. Eternal damnation, torture and suffering— it’s all there. Wicked howls and banshee screams are common fare in this godless, ghoulish pit of smoking brimstone and ash. It is real. It is real because we say it is. It is real because millions believe it to be so. It is real because it’s been manifested by a collective consciousness, spanning countless generations. It is real because the masses have accepted fear and torment into their lives. It is real because they have willed it to be so. So it is as real for me as it is real for you. But who would wish for such a thing?

Essentially every religion at least alludes to this wicked underworld. Some center on it. Others worship it. How is this so? It’s a tool. Society instills these fearful thoughts so that we might be a trifle bit easier to manage. Fear is among our greatest weaknesses and is easily exploited. For those who have not spent any time on that proverbial desert island, they are likely to accept what they’ve been handed. So they take the good with the bad and jump into religion.

No one wants to feel lost and alone, so we usually adopt our parent’s faith and go from there. We recruit into a system that feeds our fear but builds our loyalty. We give back in the form of cooperation and contributions. After all, it’s important to be a good, God-fearing sort and pay your dues when asked. But why must we “fear” God? That’s not the relationship I know. And that couple of extra bucks in my pocket might anonymously buy someone lunch in a busy restaurant. Such random acts bring me much happiness. Sorry church— but that’s my joy to experience, and I know exactly where the money is going.

The language of religion is filled with wisdom and truth, and yet there is something hollow about it all. The Bible is a beautiful read. Yes, I’ve read it. But I sense the allusions and metaphors are frequently taken out of context to sway people a certain direction. This is the power of religion as I see it. And then there are competing ideologies. Here I find considerable duplicity among faiths. There is tolerance on the surface, but dark waters churn below.

Let’s take for example someone who’s been raised as a Muslim and the Muslim faith is all they know. How arrogant is it for one to assume that they should find and embrace Christianity? Is the Muslim destined for that horrible place where Lucifer stokes the fires? That is what many Christians believe. Do you suppose this might be a source of tension between these religious factions? You can smile, shake their hand and wave— but if you think they’re going to hell then what’s the point? Is it just ideology or is it something else?

Can we not see the fallacy of these religious constructs? How could a loving Christian think that another must endure torment for an eternity just because they believe differently? What if our Muslim brother or sister lived a life of kindness and compassion? Would they still go to hell? What if they went so far as to heroically intervene to save the life of a Christian? Nope— sorry! -Still going to hell. I don’t make the rules- I just blindly repeat and follow them because I no longer think for myself. Well, that’s the way I see people who follow this belief. And it’s not just Christians I’m picking on. It’s all faiths.


Heaven’s Door

So we got a little sniff of hell- but how about the other place. You know- the good place? What do you do there? I‘ve always heard it’s the place to go— but to do what? Sit on a cloud and talk with relatives. That would be nice for a while. Then what? Well we can listen to the harp. Surely the harp would be out of this world. And it’s so beautiful and happy up there. Jesus is there. So let us sing and rejoice even as Mohammad and Buddha burn in hell.

I’d like to entertain another scenario. Consider a son who dearly loved his departed father. Let’s say his father was Jewish. The son had converted to Christianity. Son makes it to heaven only to find his father is not there. Heaven is now hell for this soul. Do we not see this hypocrisy? How silly is all of this anyway? Why do we even engage in this nonsense? Why? -Because we surrendered our authority to a social order called religion. We no longer have to think at a higher level. Thank God we’ve got churches to do our higher level thinking for us. Can I get an “amen!”

But this is how I see it. I could be wrong. I do sense, however, that whoever brought us here must love us very much or they would not have gone through all the bother and fuss. They’re going to come back for us too. They’re going to come back and take us home. Leaving this world will be seamless. We will look back and see how we were in a type of slumber. We will see how restricted we were, not only in motion but in thought.

When we pass into the greater world we will feel more alive and conscious than we could ever feel here. There will be no judgment or condemnation, save for which we direct upon ourselves. And that could be brutal— so one must learn to forgive others and themselves. This is heaven as I see. You will be the unfolding blossom— the light of the stars. You will be free to go wherever you want. Even back to Earth if you so desire. But the love you will feel and know will be so overwhelming that you will want to spend eternity just basking in the glow.

These are whispers I hear in the stillness of the moment. So take it for what it’s worth. But the theologian does not know better than I. This I am certain of. I care not how many Bible quotes one has memorized nor what they proclaim to be true. I ’m bored by it all. I’m bored by all dogmas and constructs of this kind. If the religious world were to practice what they preach with the same veracity and resolve by which they recruit, then we would have seen an end to war a long, long time ago. War persists. Nice going, religious people. Guess you don’t have it all figured out just yet. And don’t say you need more time. That excuse might have worked a thousand years ago- but now has run mighty thin.

Final Thought

I see you’re still straight in the saddle. That wasn’t so bad. But I can’t help but wonder if hell is real because so many people envision it to be so. If millions believe with conviction and fervor, they just might jinn something up that’s extra dark and nasty. If so, then the ardent worshiper might be unknowingly complicit in sentencing innocent souls to eternal damnation. That’s the sort of irony I would halfway expect. But somehow I know this is not the case.

Perhaps one is more apt to believe hell is real and here on Earth. Yep. It most certainly can be. But maybe so is heaven. It may really come down on how we choose to experience our life. Do we need to go to a church and compare Sunday outfits to feel a Divine connection? If that is what one desires then so be it. For me, I prefer the humble route. I visit my own temple. Well, actually it’s that place between the “temples.” Here I’m able to enjoy a connection that is beautiful and centering. No. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but my mind is free to wonder. And for those I meet, I don’t see religion before the face. All I see are beautiful Human Beings that call themselves different things. —And so we gallop onward.

That mustang you’re on seems a natural fit for you. Loosening the reins will set this stallion in motion. Feel the wind in your hair and notice how the light and shadows dance as the mercurial sun steeps into twilight. And somewhere along the edge of creation and the wind swept plains of eternity you might capture a fleeting glimpse of something truly miraculous. What a sight to behold through the gossamer lens of the mind’s eye.

-Until next time

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How Hell Works: A Brief Guide to the Afterlife

Sooner or later, time is up for everyone. It would be ridiculous to think that after such a life we ​​will be able to somehow penetrate through the heavenly gates or deceive the archangel guarding them. It is worth accepting the inevitable: not booths and houris are waiting for us, but the gloomy landscape of hell. And in order not to get confused at the grave board, you should prepare for this in advance. Moreover, you can find a whole bunch of authoritative evidence on how to navigate in hellish terrain. The main thing is not to panic.

Where is it, the underworld? Some ancient peoples burned the deceased: this is a sure sign that the soul must ascend to its new abode in heaven. If he was buried in the ground, then she will go to the underworld.

If sent on the last journey by boat, it sails to the country across the sea, at the very edge of the Earth. The Slavs had a variety of opinions on this, but they all agreed on one thing: the souls of those people who are not kept near their former dwellings enter the afterlife, and they lead about the same existence there – they harvest, hunt …

Those who, due to a curse, or an unfulfilled promise, or something else, cannot leave their bodies, remain in our world – either settling into their former shells, then taking the form of animals, natural phenomena, or simply ghosts of failure. We can say that the afterlife of such souls is our own world, so this is not the worst option for a posthumous existence.

Egyptian hell

Everything will turn out much worse if you find yourself in the afterlife of the ancient Egyptians, where Osiris reigns. During his earthly incarnation, he was killed and dismembered by his own brother Set. This could not but affect the character of the lord of the dead.

Osiris looks repulsive: he looks like a mummy, clutching the signs of pharaoh’s power. Sitting on the throne, he presides over the court, which weighed the actions of the newly arrived souls. The god of life Horus brings them here. Hold on tightly to his hand: the hawk-headed Chorus is the son of the underground king, so it may well put in a good word for you.


The courtroom is huge – this is the entire firmament. According to the directions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a number of rules should be observed in it. List in detail the sins that you did not have time to commit during your lifetime. After that, you will be offered to leave a memory of yourself and help your relatives by depicting a court scene on a papyrus scroll.

If your artistic talent is at its best, you will spend the rest of eternity here, participating in the affairs of Osiris and his numerous divine relatives. The rest await a cruel execution: they are thrown to be devoured by Ammatu, a monster with the body of a hippo, paws and mane of a lion and a crocodile mouth.

However, the lucky ones may find themselves in his jaws: from time to time there are “cleansings”, in which the affairs of the wards souls are again reviewed. And if relatives have not provided the appropriate amulets, you will most likely be eaten by a ruthless monster.

Greek hell

It is even easier to get into the afterlife kingdom of the Greeks: you will be carried away by the god of death Thanatos himself, who brings here all the “fresh” souls. During big battles and battles, where he, apparently, cannot cope alone, Thanatos is helped by winged Kerrs, who carry the fallen to the kingdom of the eternally gloomy Hades.

In the far west, at the edge of the world, stretches a lifeless plain, in some places overgrown with willows and poplars with black bark. Behind it, at the bottom of the abyss, the muddy quagmire of Acheron opens. It merges with the black waters of the Styx, which encircles the world of the dead nine times and separates it from the world of the living. Even the gods are wary of breaking the oaths given by the name of Styx: these waters are sacred and ruthless. They flow into Cocytus, the river of weeping that gives rise to Lethe, the river of oblivion.


You can cross the river Styx in old man Charon’s boat. For his labor, he takes a small copper coin from each. If you have no money, you just have to wait for the end of time at the entrance. Charon’s boat crosses all nine streams and drops passengers into the abode of the dead.

Here you will be greeted by a huge three-headed dog Cerberus, safe for those entering, but ferocious and merciless to those who are trying to return to the sunny world. On a vast plain, under a chilling wind, wait quietly among other shadows for your turn. The uneven road leads to the palace of Hades himself, surrounded by the fiery stream of Phlegeton. The bridge over it rests against the gate, standing on diamond columns.

Behind the gates is a huge hall made of bronze, where Hades himself and his assistants, judges Minos, Eak and Radamant, are seated. By the way, all three were once people of flesh and blood, like you and me. They were just kings and ruled their nations so well that after their death Zeus made them judges over all the dead.

With a high probability, just judges will cast you even lower, into Tartarus – the kingdom of pain and groans, located deep under the palace. Here you will have to meet three old sisters, goddesses of vengeance, Erinnias, whom Hades put to watch over sinners.

Their appearance is terrible: blue lips from which poisonous saliva drips; black cloaks like the wings of bats. With balls of snakes in their hands, they rush through the dungeon, lighting their path with torches, and make sure that everyone fully drinks the cup of their punishment. Among the other “indigenous inhabitants” of Tartarus are Lamia, the stealing child, the three-headed Hecate, the demon of nightmares, the corpse-eater Eurynom.

Here you will also meet many mythical figures. Tyrant Ixion is forever chained to a wheel of fire. The chained giant Titius, who offended the tender Leto, is pecked by two vultures. The blasphemer Tantalus is immersed up to his throat in the freshest clear water, but as soon as he, tormented by thirst, bends down, it retreats from him. The Danaids who killed their husbands are forced to endlessly fill the leaky vessel. The quirky Sisyphus, who once deceived the spirit of death Thanatos, and the intractable Hades, and Zeus himself, rolls a stone up the mountain, which breaks down every time he approaches the top.

Christian hell

The images of Christian hell are largely inspired by the ancient Greeks. It is among Christians that the geography of hell has been studied in most detail. Getting there is a little more difficult. Already in the apocryphal books – those that were not included in the Holy Scriptures or were excluded from it later – different opinions were expressed about the location of hell.

Thus, the “Book of Enoch” places the devil himself in the eastern lifeless desert, where Raphael “makes a hole” into which he lowers him, bound hand and foot, and rolls him over with a stone. However, according to the same apocrypha, the soul will go in the opposite direction, to the west, where it will “groan” in the depressions of the high mountain range.

At the end of the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great, distinguishing between two hells – upper and lower – placed one on the ground, the second under it.

In his 1714 book on the nature of hell, the English occultist Tobias Swinden placed hell in the sun. He motivated his assumption by the then existing ideas about our light as a ball of fire and a quote from the Apocalypse (“The fourth Angel poured out his bowl on the Sun: and it was given to him to burn people with fire”).

And his contemporary and follower, William Whiston, declared all celestial comets to be hell: when they get into the hot regions of the sun, they fry souls, and when they move away, they freeze them. However, you should hardly hope to get on a comet. The most widely accepted idea is that hell is located in the center of the Earth and has at least one exit to the surface.

Most likely, this exit is located in the north, although there are other opinions. So, an old poem about the wanderings of the Irish saint Brendan tells about his journey to the far west, where he finds not only heavenly places, but also places of torment for sinners.

The sun

And in heaven, and under the earth, and on the earth itself, hell is placed in the apocryphal “Walk of the Mother of God through torment.” This book is replete with detailed descriptions of punishments. Asking God to disperse the complete darkness that envelops the suffering in the West, Mary sees a red-hot tar pour out on the unbelievers. Here, in a cloud of fire, those who “sleep like the dead at dawn on Sunday” are tormented, and those who have not stood in church during their lifetime are sitting on red-hot benches.

In the south, other sinners are immersed in the river of fire: those cursed by their parents – up to the waist, fornicators – up to the chest, and up to the throat – “those who ate human flesh,” that is, traitors who abandoned children to be devoured by beasts or betrayed their brothers before the king. But deepest of all, to the crown, are the perjurers.

The Mother of God sees here other punishments due to lovers of profit (hanging by the legs), sowers of enmity and Klchristian adepts (hanging by the ears). In the “left side of paradise”, in the raging waves of boiling tar, the Jews who crucified Christ are suffering.

John Milton, author of the poem “Paradise Lost”, is in the realm of the eternal chaos. According to his concept, Satan was overthrown even before the creation of the earth and heaven, which means that hell is outside these areas. The devil himself sits in Pandemonium, the “brilliant capital”, where he receives the most prominent demons and demons.

Pandemonium is a huge castle with halls and porticoes, built by the same architect as the palace of the Heavenly King. The angel architect, who joined the army of Satan, was expelled from heaven with him. Myriads of spirits rush along the corridors of the palace, swarming in the earth and air. There are so many of them that only satanic sorcery allows them to be accommodated.

Even more confusing is the medieval Christian theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. He distinguished three different hells, corresponding to the three levels of heaven. And since God has dominion over everything, all three hells are ruled by him through specially delegated angels.

In his opinion, Satan does not exist at all as the ruler of the kingdom of evil. The devil in Swedenborg’s understanding is a collective name for the most dangerous “evil geniuses”; Beelzebub unites spirits striving for dominion even in heaven; Satan means “not so evil” spirits. All these spirits are terrible to look at and, like corpses, are deprived of life.

The faces of some are black, in others they are fiery, and in others they are “ugly with pimples, abscesses and ulcers; many of them don’t see their faces, others have only teeth sticking out. ” Swedenborg formulated the idea that as heaven reflects one person, and hell in aggregate is only a reflection of one devil and can be represented in this form. The devil’s mouth, leading to the fetid underworld – this is the path awaiting sinners.


Do not overly trust the opinion of some authors who argue that the entrance to hell can be locked. Christ in the “Apocalypse” says: “I have the keys of hell and death.” But Milton claims that the keys to Gehenna (apparently on behalf of Jesus) are kept by a terrible half-woman, half-snake. On the surface of the earth, the gate may look quite harmless, like a pit or a cave, or like a mouth of a volcano. According to Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, written at the beginning of the 14th century, souls can go to hell by passing through a dense and gloomy forest.

This poem is the most authoritative source about the hellish device. The structure of the underworld is described in all its complexity. The hell of the Divine Comedy is the torso of Lucifer, inside it has a funnel-shaped structure. Starting a journey through hell, Dante and his guide Virgil descend deeper and deeper, without turning anywhere, and in the end find themselves in the same place from which they entered it.

The strangeness of this hellish geometry was noticed by the famous Russian mathematician, philosopher and theologian Pavel Florensky. He proved very reasonably that Dante’s hell is based on non-Euclidean geometry. Like the entire Universe in the concepts of modern physics, hell in the poem has a finite volume, but has no boundaries, which was proved (theoretically) by the Swiss Weil.

Muslim hell

It looks like a Christian hell and an underworld that awaits Muslims. Among the stories of The Thousand and One Nights, seven circles are told. The first is for the faithful who have died an unjust death, the second is for apostates, the third is for the pagans. Jinn and the descendants of Iblis himself inhabit the fourth and fifth circles, Christians and Jews – the sixth. The innermost, seventh circle is waiting for the hypocrites.

Before getting here, souls await the great Doomsday, which will come at the end of time. However, the wait does not seem long to them.

Like most other sinners, visitors to the Islamic Hell are eternally roasted on fire, and every time their skin is burned, it grows again. The Zakkum tree grows here, the fruits of which, like the heads of the devil, are the food of the punished. Do not try the local cuisine: these fruits boil in the stomach like molten copper.

Those who eat them are tormented by intolerable thirst, but the only way to quench it is to drink boiling water so foul-smelling that it “melts the insides and skin.” In short, this is a very, very hot place. In addition, Allah even enlarges the bodies of the kafirs, increasing their torment.

Honestly, none of the described hells arouses good feelings in us, especially in comparison with our small, but generally comfortable world. So where exactly to go is up to you. Of course, it is not possible to give a complete information about the structure of hell on the pages of the magazine.

However, we hope that our quick overview will help everyone who finds themselves there to quickly navigate and greet their new eternity with the words of John Milton:

“Hello, sinister world! Hello, Beyond Gehenna! “

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Chalk portrait of Virgin Mary appeared 13 years later, Mexican people call for miracles

A recent miraculous phenomenon on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico, the image of the Virgin Mary painted in chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. Local residents believe this "miraculous manifestation". (Video screenshot)

A mysterious phenomenon recently appeared on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico. A portrait of the Virgin Mary painted with chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. The local residents were quite surprised and believe in this “miraculous manifestation”.

This chalk-painted portrait of the Virgin is located on the asphalt pavement of an open-air parking lot next to the Guadalupe municipal government. It was an unknown person who held the “Bella Vía” (Bella Vía) in Guadalupe in 2007 Painted during the festival.

Recently, a man splashed water on the asphalt road there, and this portrait of the Virgin unexpectedly appeared again.

The staff of the city government said that the parking lot has undergone many changes and the city has also experienced extreme weather. This image should have disappeared a few years ago, but it has suddenly appeared miraculously recently.

After the incident spread in the local area, it immediately attracted a large number of people to watch, and city hall officials were also surprised. Many people believe that this is the miracle of the Virgin, and many believers come to worship and light candles and place flowers on the spot.

Félix Palomo, director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Guadalupe Municipal Government, also shared a photo of this mysterious chalk drawing on Twitter and wrote:

“Believe it or not, the problem is that this portrait was created 13 years ago. How could it reappear afterwards?”

At present, the portrait of the Virgin Mary has been surrounded by traffic triangles, and the ground is often splashed with water to make the portrait of the Virgin Mary appear more clearly. As for why this chalk-drawn portrait of the Virgin Maru can be kept for 13 years, no experts have yet provided any explanation.

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The legend that connects the Holy Grail with a Polish village – The Knights Templar and the secret tunnels

Like all great travelers, the Knights Templar of medieval times needed some places to settle, and so they built some of the most impressive castles and cathedrals.

Famous examples of these 13th-century buildings are found throughout the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Less well known are the impressive chapels and fortifications they built in western Poland, where the Knights Templar and other crusaders colonized the area and began to weave their own mythology into the idyllic rural landscape.

A trip to the region of Western Pomerania and the villages of Chwarszczany, Myślibórz and Rurka – near the border with Germany – is an adventure in a neglected destination, where historical secrets are still revealed.

And, according to at least one local legend, there could still be hidden the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus Christ drank at the Last Supper and later had his blood.

The road to Chwarszczany, a village lost among fields and forests, is not very well known, and has few permanent residents. The village itself is a collection of faded houses with less than 100 inhabitants who have chickens and grow tomatoes in the summer.

The farms and houses built in the traditional German style, testify to the geopolitical unrest that has affected the area over the centuries.

The special, timeless chapels built by the Knights Templar

It is here that the Knights Templar established a place of worship. Made of red bricks on a granite base, the church of Agios Stanislaos was built in 1232 on an isolated spot.

The chapel is designed according to the Temple of the Temples, an intricate code that the knights obeyed for fear of exile from the fraternity. The appearance of the building is defensive, its high walls are built to withstand attacks as well as the ravages of time.

It is still used as a place of worship, although Sunday mornings in Chwarszczany are quiet, we usually see about 30 parishioners gathered inside the chapel. There are two renovated frescoes on the walls.

The chapel in Chwarszczany

Discoveries are still being made here that shed new light on the lives and deaths of the knights and their followers. Among the finds below the sanctuary of the chapel are the bodies of some of the knights themselves and a possible secret passage.

Przemysław Kołosowski, an archaeologist working to preserve Chwarszczany’s medieval heritage, says that during excavations in 2019, researchers discovered more fortifications and a cemetery using ground-penetrating radar.

“Our GPR has identified gothic crypts with the remains of the Knights Templar beneath the chapel,” Kołosowski told CNN Travel. “According to legends and medieval documents, there was a well near the chapel. According to rumors, the well served as the entrance to a secret tunnel. “This requires further thorough archaeological research.”

The stories of the Knights Templar are a source of inspiration for movies

The Knights Templar have fascinated historians and archaeologists for years, in part because of the shady aspects of some of their practices.

Their Order was founded in Jerusalem in the 12th century to protect the pilgrims of the Holy Land. They became a powerful force throughout Europe, enjoying papal privileges, tax breaks and rich donations, while at the same time gaining legendary status.

The Knights Templar protected the Holy Grail

They are said to have become the patrons of the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred ark in which were kept the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments that God had given to Moses for the second time, and other sacred objects of the Israelis. These stories have inspired films such as Indiana Jones and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

“The Knights Templar are always involved in everything,” Italian writer Uberto Eco wrote in his book “Foucault’s Pendulum.” 

This certainly seems to be the case in 12th and 13th century Europe. In western Poland, landowners decided to prevent this entanglement by inviting knights to settle in what was then known as the Pojezierze Myśliborskie region.

Struggles for political power

About 40 miles (25 miles) north of Chwarszczany, another Romanesque building owes its existence to the medieval order. The Chapel of the Knights at Rurka is a rugged stone building dating back to 1250, built in the architectural style of the German region of Saxony.

In a secluded forest spot, the Rurka Chapel was sold to private hands in 1999 and is closed for renovation.

Going further northeast, after a 25-minute drive, travelers will reach Myślibórz, a narrow community of narrow roads surrounded by forests and four lakes.

The Knights Templar arrived in Mysliborz, Poland in the 13th century. It is an idyllic place, but the show here is stolen by the extremely preserved fortifications of the city, which today look almost as they look during the Crusades.

Myślibórz’s defense architecture provides a glimpse of what life was like in the Temple Age, when communities lived in fear of wars and struggles for political power.

Historical documents place the Knights Templar at Myślibórz from about 1238, when the land around their city was ceded to the local aristocrat, Duke Władysław Odonic.

The secrets of the swamp

The fortifications around Myślibórz were built in the 13th and 14th centuries. The city has retained its medieval town planning, with a square in the middle. Around this market there is the 18th century town hall, and houses.

Even today, the main entrances to the city are through two medieval gates, the Pyrzycka Gate and the Nowogródzka Gate, which were built in the early 13th and 14th centuries. Modern roads allow cars to enter the city through the gates. Inside the fortifications there is a cylindrical stone tower with loopholes.

The Holy Grail has inspired many books and movies

Visitors should ask about a secret underground tunnel that runs down the city, from the large church on Market Square to the Dominican convent, which, according to Karolczak, was originally the site of the Temple of the Knights Templars.

After the expulsion of the Knights Templar from Myślibórz in the late 13th century, their legendary treasure disappeared. Karolczak says that according to local tradition, the treasure was sunk by the Knights themselves, in a nearby lake.

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