Each of three major religious groups claimed
Jerusalem in the land of Palestine as their holy city.
To Christians, it was the place where Jesus
was crucified and ascended to heaven
To Muslims, it was the place where Muhammad
met three earlier prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
To Jews, it was the site of the ancient
temple built by Solomon
In 600 CE, Arabs conquered the city.
The Arabs continued to allow Christian and Jewish pilgrims to visit
Jerusalem. They even allowed Jews and Christians to live in the city.
In 1095, a different tribe of Arabs took
over Jerusalem. They refused to allow Jewish and Christian pilgrims to
enter the city.
The Pope heard about
this and called for Christians to do something. He asked for a
volunteer army to go and take back Jerusalem. About
30,000 knights and other fighting men took up the challenge and left
to retake Jerusalem. As a sign of their fighting for their
religion, each crusader wore a red cross on their shield, armor,
helmet, cape or other clothes.
After two years of travel, hunger,
disease, and even fighting among themselves, the Crusaders reached
Palestine. After some very hard fighting and a three month siege
of the city, the Crusaders won and recaptured Jerusalem. Some of
the knights stayed to defend the city, but most returned to their
homes. One of the unexpected results of the Crusades was that
the Crusaders brought back new foods, literature, art, inventions, and
ideas from the Arabs.
was short lived. About 50 years later, Arabs again captured
Jerusalem. The new pope called for another crusade to retake the
city. There were several more crusades none of which were
There was an even
greater tragedy in the making. One of the Crusades was the Children's
Crusade. A child in France had a vision (supposedly
a message from god) and his belief was that only children were pure enough
to be allowed to capture the holy city. Soon thousands of
children from France and Germany gathered to try and reach
Palestine. Thousands died of hunger, freezing to death, disease,
and accidents before they even reached the Mediterranean
Sea. When they finally got to the sea, there was no way to get to
Jerusalem. The children who survived went back home in disappointment.
Europeans never gave up the idea of recapturing Jerusalem, they just
sort of stopped trying.
Crusades - Fling the Teacher
Presentations about the Middle Ages
Online Games for the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Clipart for Kids & Teachers
Ages for Teachers
to The Middle Ages for Kids