Knights of Calatrava

Knights of Calatrava käläträ´vä [key], Spain's oldest military order, whose original seat was the now ruined fortress of Calatrava la Vieja in Ciudad Real prov., central Spain. Founded (1158) by the Cistercians as a defense against the Moors, the order was very powerful, holding large possessions until the 13th cent. later it declined. In 1499 the title of grand master passed to the Castilian crown and thence to the Spanish crown.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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