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Knights Templar: A Medieval Experience in Spain

Written and photos by: Emily Sale (Student)

In Spain I had the experience to partake in a trip called “Templar Experience”, which took place in Lleida. With my group I was able to visit to historic landmarks: Seu Vella and Gardeny Castle. Both locations were home to the Knights of Templar during the 12th and 13th centuries.

The drive to Lleida was gorgeous. We were able to see the Catalan countryside, which was terraced with stonewalls, tan grown coverings, and green shrubs. We were also able to drive past Montserrat and mountains.  Small towns sprang from open fields.
Our first stop, Seu Vella, was used as a military barracks, monastery, and had a castle. The two churches at Sue Vella were located back to back. One was Romanesque and the other was Gothic. They had beautifully planted courtyards and elaborate stonework. The highlight of this stop was the bell tower, where we climbed 238 steps to the top. From the top we could see all of Lleida and the countryside. The view was incredible!
Next, we stopped at Gardeny Castle, which we could see from across town from Seu Vella. Upon arriving, our group picked pictures from a bag. These pictures represented roles that we were to have. Some roles were: monk, king, knight, and sailor. I was a pilgrim. Our guide then used our roles to demonstrate and explain the everyday activities of the Knights of Templar. The roles were also used to demonstrate the known parts of the ritual to becoming a Knight of Templar.
Finally, our day ended with lunch at a restaurant where we received a four-course meal. We had salad, pasta stuffed with meat, chicken and potatoes, and dessert. It was the perfect ending to an adventurous day.  This trip was a wonderful experience and something that I would have never done on my own.  It was great to get out of the city and see Spain from a different perspective.

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