Temple Church

sights / Religious

Temple Church information

Location
London , England
Telephone
+44 20 7353 3470
Getting there
Tube: Temple
More information
www.templechurch.com
Prices
adult/child £5/free
Opening hours
10am-4pm Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri, 2-4pm Wed, hours & days can vary
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This magnificent church was built by the secretive Knights Templar, an order of crusading monks founded in the 12th century to protect pilgrims travelling to and from Jerusalem. Today the sprawling oasis of fine buildings and pleasant, traffic-free green space is home to two Inns of Court: Inner Temple and Middle Temple. A key scene of The Da Vinci Code was set here.

The Temple Church has a distinctive design and is in two parts: the Round (consecrated in 1185 and modelled after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem) adjoins the Chancel (built in 1240), which is the heart of the modern church. Both parts were severely damaged by a bomb in 1941 and have been completely reconstructed. Its most obvious points of interest are the life-size stone effigies of nine 13th-century knights lying on the floor of the Round. Some of them are cross-legged, but contrary to popular belief this doesn't necessarily mean they were crusaders. It's one of just four round churches left in England. The church is only open to tourists from Monday to Friday, but services are held on Sundays.