The Middle Ages
After the period in which Charlemagne gave shape to the structure and organization of the country, a group of knights pick up the sword to take part in the Crusades. During the 3rd Crusade, a religious knighthood was established under the name The Teutonic Order. This Order will have much influence by owning commanderies and castles, also in Utrecht and Maasland.
In the 13th century, the Order finds a new mission and goal with the Christianization of Prussia and Livonia, the present-day Latvia. Johann von der Recke (1480, † 1551) was Land Master from 1549 to 1551 of Livonia.
The Teutonic Order is similar to the Knights Templar under the authority of the Pope instead of feudal authority. The power of the Order is still noticeable more than three centuries later when the Order takes sides against the Reformation.
The von der Recke family is very active in the Teutonic Order, as evidenced by the list of members below.