26 Facts About Teutonic Knights


Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, commonly known as the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious institution founded as a military society c in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.

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Teutonic Knights have been known as Zakon Krzyzacki in Polish and as Kryziuociu Ordinas in Lithuanian, Vacu Ordenis in Latvian, Saksa Ordu or, simply, Ordu in Estonian, as well as various names in other languages.

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The Teutonic Knights were expelled by force of arms by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1225, after attempting to build their own state within Transylvania and Pope Honorius III's papal bull claiming the Order's territory in Transylvania.

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The Teutonic Knights had quickly taken steps against their Polish hosts and with the Holy Roman Emperor's support, had changed the status of Chelmno Land, where they were invited by the Polish Duke, into their own property.

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The Teutonic Knights had a strong economic base which enabled them to hire mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, and they became a naval power in the Baltic Sea.

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However, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was successfully defended in the following Siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse.

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However, the Teutonic Knights were never as influential in Outremer as the older Templars and Hospitallers.

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In 1211, Andrew II of Hungary accepted the services of the Teutonic Knights and granted them the district of Burzenland in Transylvania, where they would be immune to fees and duties and could enforce their own justice.

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In 1224, the Teutonic Knights, seeing that they would have problems when the Prince inherited the Kingdom, petitioned Pope Honorius III to be placed directly under the authority of the Papal See, rather than that of the King of Hungary.

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In 1235 the Teutonic Knights assimilated the smaller Order of Dobrzyn, which had been established earlier by Christian, the first Bishop of Prussia.

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Teutonic Knights began to direct their campaigns against pagan Lithuania, due to the long existing conflicts in the region and the lack of a proper area of operation for the Knights, after the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at Acre in 1291 and their later expulsion from Hungary.

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The Teutonic Knights won a decisive victory over Lithuania in the Battle of Rudau in 1370.

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The Teutonic Knights relinquished Kuyavia and Dobrzyn Land to Poland, but retained Chelmno Land and Pomerelia with Gdansk.

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In 1407, the Teutonic Knights Order reached its greatest territorial extent and included the lands of Prussia, Pomerelia, Samogitia, Courland, Livonia, Estonia, Gotland, Dago, Osel, and the Neumark, pawned by Brandenburg in 1402.

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Some Teutonic Knights were sent to battle the invaders but were defeated by the Bohemian infantry.

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From now on, every Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Order was obliged to swear an oath of allegiance to the reigning Polish king within six months of taking office.

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Teutonic Knights secularized the Order's remaining Prussian territories and assumed from his uncle Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland, the hereditary rights to the Duchy of Prussia as a personal vassal of the Polish Crown, the Prussian Homage.

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All of the Teutonic Knights' possessions were subordinate to the Grand Master, whose seat was in Bad Mergentheim.

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The Teutonic Knights became tri-denominational, with Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed bailiwicks.

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Military history of the Teutonic Knights was to be ended in 1805 by the Article XII of the Peace of Pressburg, which ordered the German territories of the Knights converted into a hereditary domain and gave the Austrian Emperor responsibility for placing a Habsburg prince on its throne.

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Teutonic Knights had the rank of the ruler of an ecclesiastic imperial state and was sovereign prince of Prussia until 1466.

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Many of the priests care for German-speaking communities outside of Germany and Austria, especially in Italy and Slovenia; in this sense, the Teutonic Knights Order has returned to its 12th-century roots: the spiritual and physical care of Germans in foreign lands.

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In 2000, the German chapter of the Teutonic Knights Order declared bankruptcy, and its upper management was dismissed; an investigation by a special committee of the Bavarian parliament in 2002 and 2003 to determine the cause was inconclusive.

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Teutonic Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross, granted by Innocent III in 1205.

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Procession in honour of Saint Liborius of Le Mans with Knights of the Holy Sepulchre together with Teutonic Knights in Paderborn, Germany.

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Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany posed for a photo in 1902 in the garb of a monk from the Teutonic Knights Order, climbing the stairs in the reconstructed Marienburg Castle as a symbol of Imperial German policy.

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