A look at the people, places, and conspiracies of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

The Temple Church, London

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Fascinating Locations, Featured | 0 comments

The Temple Church, London

The Interior of the Temple Church Glows Under A Cloudy Sky

 

Temple Church Interior, London © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Temple Church Interior, London © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

 

Tucked into a quiet courtyard inside a maze of buildings in the heart of London, The Temple Church is a unique place of worship from the 12th Century that stands as a testament to the Templars who built it.  Walking into this somewhat austere church, visitors’ footsteps echo lightly across the stone floor. The plain walls, however, were once as colorful as the history of the unique place. Although the walls were once painted with bright colors, the primary decoration of the Temple Church today is the incredible light that fills the space like a warm fire. The entire church glows, even on cloudy days.

The Round Church


 
The Round Church, Temple Church, London

The Round Church, Temple Church, London

Although Dan Brown suggests in his book that the circular form of the Templar churches were a salute to the Roman Pantheon and sun worshippers, the Templar churches were actually built in a circular design to remind them of King Solomon’s Temple, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a round domed building that is built at the site where Jesus was buried. The Temple Church is currently one of only five surviving round churches in England. King Henry III added the Chancel, or rectangular part of the church, and originally planned to be buried there. The King changed his mind and his will, however, and upon his death it was found that he actually wanted to be buried in Westminster Abbey. He did, however, bury his young son, Henry, in this quiet place.The Temple Church has an unusual design. It is comprised of the original Round Church, a circular nave that was consecrated to the Virgin Mary on February 10, 1185 by Heraclius, and a rectangular chancel that was added 55 years later. The Templar Knights were originally founded in 1118, less than a century before this church was built.

Temple Church, London Exterior by Cynthia Kirkeby

Temple Church, London Exterior by Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Even though the Templar Knights became known for their wealth and power, their beginnings were actually just the opposite. The design on their seal showing two knights on horseback reflected that in the beginning they often rode two knights to a horse, because they were too poor to afford a horse for each knight. A unique order of monks, the Templar Knights were soldier-monks who took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Their main mission was to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.

In Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Langston, Sophie, and Leah Teabing hunt through The Temple Church looking for clues to the riddle:

In London lies a knight a Pope interred. His labour’s fruit a Holy wrath incurred. You seek the orb that ought be on his tomb. It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb.




The Temple Church Effigies

The Knight Effigies in the Temple Church © 2004 Cynthia Kirkeby

The Knight Effigies in the Temple Church © 2004 Cynthia Kirkeby

Knight Effigies at the Temple Church, London    ©2004 Cynthia Kirkeby

Knight Effigies at the Temple Church, London ©2004 Cynthia Kirkeby

 

The only problem is that although most people think the stone carvings on the floor of the Round Church are tombs, they are actually effigies.  The effigies inside the Round Church show knights posed for battle, ever at the ready to protect the travelers under their care. There are nine stone knights and one symbol of a sword and shield inset into the limestone floor of the church. The oldest of the effigies depicts Sir Roger de Ros, and was created in 1227. These are effigies however, not graves. There are no knights beneath the stone designs. Only their images stand watch over this ancient church.  It’s not until Silas holds them at gunpoint, that Langston and Sophie realize that the riddle points to Sir Isaac Newton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.

 

The deRos Effigy © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

The deRos Effigy © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Effigy displaying Sword and Shield, Temple Church, London

Effigy displaying Sword and Shield, Temple Church, London

 





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APA style
The Temple Church, London. (2013, October 13). In Inside The Da Vinci Code. Retrieved 16:47, June 22, 2017, from http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/
MLA style
classbrain, “The Temple Church, London.” Inside The Da Vinci Code. 13 October 2013, 03:43 UTC. . 22 Jun 2017 <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/>.
MHRA style
classbrain, 'The Temple Church, London', Inside The Da Vinci Code, 13 October 2013, 03:43 UTC, <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/> [accessed 22 June 2017]
The Chicago Manual of Style
classbrain, “The Temple Church, London.” Inside The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/ [accessed June 22, 2017].
CBE/CSE style
classbrain, The Temple Church, London [Internet]. Inside The Da Vinci Code; 2013 October 13, 03:43 UTC [cited 2017 Jun 22]. Available from: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/.
Bluebook style
The Temple Church, London, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/ (last visited Jun. 22, 2017).
AMA style
classbrain, The Temple Church, London. Inside The Da Vinci Code. October 13, 2013, 03:43 UTC. Available at: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/. Accessed June 22, 2017.

Citation styles

APA style
The Temple Church, London. (2013, October 13). In Inside The Da Vinci Code. Retrieved 16:47, June 22, 2017, from http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/
MLA style
classbrain, “The Temple Church, London.” Inside The Da Vinci Code. 13 October 2013, 03:43 UTC. . 22 Jun 2017 <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/>.
MHRA style
classbrain, 'The Temple Church, London', Inside The Da Vinci Code, 13 October 2013, 03:43 UTC, <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/> [accessed 22 June 2017]
The Chicago Manual of Style
classbrain, “The Temple Church, London.” Inside The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/ [accessed June 22, 2017].
CBE/CSE style
classbrain, The Temple Church, London [Internet]. Inside The Da Vinci Code; 2013 October 13, 03:43 UTC [cited 2017 Jun 22]. Available from: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/.
Bluebook style
The Temple Church, London, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/ (last visited Jun. 22, 2017).
AMA style
classbrain, The Temple Church, London. Inside The Da Vinci Code. October 13, 2013, 03:43 UTC. Available at: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/the-temple-church-london/. Accessed June 22, 2017.

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