Calatrava, Military Order Of
Instituted l158, during the reign of Sancho III, King of Castile, who conquered and gave the Castle of Calatrava, an important fortress of the Moors of Andalusia, to the Knights Templar, who subsequently relinquished their possession of it to the king.
The king, being disappointed in the ability of the Templars to retain it, then offered the defense of the place to Don Raymond of Navarre, Abbot of St. Mary of Hitero, a Cistercian convent, who accepted it. Don Raymond being successful, the king gave the place to him and his companions, and instituted the 0rder of Calatrava. A Grand Master was appointed and approved of by the Pope, Alexander III, 1164, which was confirmed by Innocent III in 1198.
The knights had been granted the power of electing their own Grand Master; but on the death of Don Gareias Lopez de Pardella, 1489, Ferdinand and Isabella annexed the Grand Mastership to the Crown of Castile, which was sanctioned by Pope Innocent VIII.
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