La France des Templiers: Sites, histoire et légendes by Jen-Luc Aubarbier is the kind of French book that you can confidently purchase without really being able to read any French. There is very little information about this edition that one can find online, so I felt that it was necessary to give the book a little boost here.
As you may have guessed from the title, the book attempts to give a broad overview of the Knights Templar traces in modern France. It contains over 300 pages and is lavishly illustrated. There are detailed maps of every region in France with all (presumably) Templar-related locations marked. Most photographs are original and very well produced.
One possible criticism of the book would address its lack of depth in covering the subject, but it requires many volumes to even approach the topic of the Knights Templar presence in France. If you are simply looking for a guide in your travels or want a starting point in your studies La France des Templiers definitely delivers!
(In these pictures I’m using my trusted paper cutting knife to hold the pages down)
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Reference books on the Knights Templar
A painting by Fleury-François Richard (1777-1852). Original title: Jacques de Molay, grand Maître des Templiers (1806). This masterpiece of flawless composition depicts a scene from Jacques de Molay’s final day. King Philip’s personal confessor is visiting the imprisoned Grand Master of the Knights Templar, attempting to persuade him to admit the guilt for the crimes that de Molay never committed. The priest representing the king is shown sitting on what resembles a throne, while de Molay stands in front of him, shackled. The guard is visibly anxious, perhaps awaiting those who will be coming in order to take the Templar to the place of execution. The dark alcove in the background looks almost like an altar – a reminder of the fact that the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar insisted on daily celebration of mass. It is not easy to interpret the gesturing of the two main characters. Perhaps the confessor wants de Molay to consider divine judgment, while the Grand Master himself points in the direction of the door that will lead him to the seat of the true King who will not find any guilt in him?
Amazon has reproductions of this painting.
Initiation of Jacques de Molay by François-Marius Granet
Knights Templar initiation practices