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Local Sights: Cathedrale de PayensEdit
Though overshadowed by several larger and more well-know cathedrals, the Cathedrale de Payens in the 14th arrondissement remains a historical curiosity of interest to many scholars. Construction was begun in 1218 and completed before the end of the century, financed by the Templar Knights -- an order of warrior monks -- as part of a similar network of churches, cathedrals, and forts (or "commanderies" as they were called) throughout Britain, Europe, and the Holy Lands.
Some scholars believe that the order did not disappear in 1311 with its dissolution, however, and that the Templar Knight continued to operate more or less in secret -- but whatever the truth, Payens fell into disrepair until finally purchased and renovated by a group of European investors in 1918 as a corporate retreat. While closed to the public, it still remains a comforting presence at the heart of the arrondissement.