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Teutonic Order Cross-Cross of Teutonic Knights View larger

Teutonic Order Cross


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Teutonic Cross Keychain-Symbol of Teutonic Knights. Black Teutonic cross.

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Cross of Teutonic Order

Teutonic Order was founded by Emperor Henry VI as a hospital order in 1191, similar to the Templars and Hospitallers, in Acre, in the Levant, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer, controlling the port tolls of Acre. By 1198, the German Teutonic Order became a religious military order of crusaders, first fighting in the Holy Land and later in Prussia and Lithuania. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend Hungary against the Cumans. They were expelled in 1225 after allegedly attempting to place themselves under Papal instead of Hungarian sovereignty.

Teutonic Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross. A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms; this image was later used for military decoration and insignia by the Kingdom of Prussia and Germany as the Iron Cross. The motto of the Order was:"Helfen, Wehren, Heilen" ("Help, Defend, Heal").

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