The day the Crusaders lost Jerusalem – level 3
For some people, the crusades are a medieval pastime full of knights and romantic adventures. The reality is very different. It is an intense 200-year-old clash of civilizations, Christians versus Muslims. A clash that could be simply described as the fight for Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a city where the holy places of three world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are located.
Whoever controls Jerusalem controls access to all the holy places. In 1095, Muslims have already been in control of Jerusalem for 4 centuries.
Pope Urban II is not happy about the situation, and he is determined to do everything possible to take Jerusalem from Muslim possession. In France, he announces the First Crusade.
The Crusaders in present-day Turkey and Syria take over Muslim cities and kill all the inhabitants. After three years of travel, the Crusaders reach the gates of Jerusalem and eventually conquer the holy city. Here they kill all the inhabitants again.
When Sultan Saladin comes to power, he wants Jerusalem back. In 1187, the Crusaders gather 20,000 men and are surrounded and defeated by the rocks called the Horns of Hattin.
Then Saladin heads to Jerusalem. It is October 2, 1187, and Saladin enters Jerusalem. The Crusaders lose the holy city.
Difficult words: crusade (a war started by a Christian army trying to take the area of Palestine from the Muslims), pastime (an interest), clash (a fight between two armies), determined (having a strong desire to do something), announce (to say publicly), inhabitant (a person who lives in a place), conquer (to get control by fighting).
What were the main religious, cultural, and political motivations behind the First Crusade?
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