Each of three monotheistic religions claimed Jerusalem as their holy city. To Christians, it was where Jesus was crucified and ascended to heaven. To Muslims, it was where Muhammad met three the earlier prophets. To Jews, it was the site of Solomon’s ancient temple.
In 600 CE, Arabs conquered Jerusalem. They allowed Christian and Jewish pilgrims to visit and to live there.
In 1095, a different Arab group took over Jerusalem. They refused to allow Jewish and Christian pilgrims to enter the city.
The Pope called for action. He wanted a volunteer Christian army to take back Jerusalem. About 30,000 knights and other fighting men marched to retake Jerusalem. The crusaders wore red crosses on their shields and clothing.
It took the Crusaders two years of travel, hunger, disease, and internal fighting to reach Palestine. They recaptured Jerusalem following hard battles. Some of the knights stayed to defend the city, and the rest returned to home. These Crusaders brought back new foods, literature, art, inventions, and ideas from the Arabs.
About 50 years later, Arabs recaptured Jerusalem. The new pope called for another crusade. None of the following crusades were successful.
One of the failed Crusades was the Children's Crusade. A child in France had a vision that only children were pure enough to capture Jerusalem. Thousands of children marched for Jerusalem. Many died of hunger, disease, and accidents before coming close. The children who survived went back home.
Source: The Crusades 2
All Rights Reserved Written by Lin Donn