Hayez, Fracesco - Crusaders Thirsting near Jerusalem - 1836-50
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Reconstruction of the temple of Jerusalem

The Crusader period in the history of Jerusalem began in 1109 with the conquest of the city Jerusalem by the First Crusade. Jerusalem became the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and became Christian after 450 years of Islam. It was a turbulent period in Jerusalem's history, characterized by frequent conquests and rule transitions between the Crusaders and Ayyubid dynasty Muslim.

The first turning point after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders occurred with its conquest by the army of Saladin in 1187 and its surrender to the Ayyubid dynasty — a Muslim sultanate that ruled in the Middle East early 12th century. The Sixth Crusade put Jerusalem shortly back under the Crusader domination (1229-1244), until the city was captured by the Khwarazmian dynasty. The Crusader–Ayyubid conflict ended with the rise of the Mamluks from Egypt in 1260 and their conquest of the Holy Land.

At the end of the Ayyubid period there were waves of destruction. The city's fortifications were destroyed first, and then most of the buildings which, as part of a deliberate scorched earth policy, intended to prevent the Crusaders and all future crusades from gaining a foothold in the city and region.

This short but relatively turbulent period was exceptional in the history of Jerusalem. For the first time since the destruction of the city in 70 C.E., Jerusalem was the capital of an independent political entity, a status that only returned during the British Mandate in the 20th century. The city would return to the central position after the declaration as the capital of Israel in 1948.

The Crusader period in the history of Jerusalem decisively influenced the history of the Middle East, radiating beyond the region into the Islamic World and Christian Europe. The Crusades brought the name "Jerusalem" to a top position in Islam, reinforced its position in the hierarchy of places holy to Islam, but the city did not become a spiritual or political center of Islam. By the end of the Ayyubid period the name of Jerusalem was no longer connected to the idea of jihad, the city's geopolitical status declined, and it became a secondary city, first for Mamluk Empire, and later for the Ottomans.

These turmoils did not spare the Jewish community of Jerusalem, who, despite difficult circumstances, struggled amid the waves of death and destruction and began to rebuild the fallen city.

Crusader Jerusalem

Crusader conquest of Jerusalem

The conquest of Jerusalem became the prime objective of the First Crusade, which was launched in 1095 with Pope Urban II's call to arms; four main crusader armies left Europe in August 1096. On June 7, 1099, having given up on the unsuccessful siege of Arqa, the crusaders arrived at Jerusalem.[1] The city was put under siege on June 13, but the Crusader army could not crush her by starvation, and they were themselves poorly supplied. Attacks on the city walls started on July 14, and on July 15 they raised a siege tower; around noon the Crusaders were on the wall and Muslim defense collapsed.

Capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

With the conquest of Jerusalem to the Crusaders returned home to Europe, and Israel remained a small number of pilgrims who settled in the Holy Land. The remaining were faced with challenges are vast, such as setting capital, and the center of Kingdom of Jerusalem caused by religious fervor that drove the Crusaders throughout the Odyssey of the Crusades, leaving the state's center of gravity outside the main trade routes and distant coastal ports.

Crusaders massacre in Jerusalem created a dramatic change in the composition of the population. Muslims and Jews were murdered or deported and banned these skipped sword stay in the city. William of Tyre wrote:[2]:

gentiles who had almost lost all its inhabitants with the sword after the city was broken into by force, if some escaped by accident, do not give them more room in the city to live. Heaven-fearing leaders seemed sacrilege which would allow those who were not among the followers of Christianity have such an esteemed residents instead.
Jerusalem after the conquest was empty of inhabitants, many houses were abandoned and the city resembled a ghost town. Latin city's population was very small and centered around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Tower of David. William of Tyre wrote:[3]:
within the walls of cities, in houses, just hard to find a safe place, that the inhabitants were few and scattered and ruined walls were open enemy attack. Thieves were attacking at night, breaking into the abandoned cities, whose inhabitants lived far from one another. The result was some secret, others openly would have left the property that have acquired and began returning to their countries.

First step is to stop the escape by announcing legislation that a person holding the asset for a year becomes its owner. Real improvement has been achieved by populating Jerusalem residents who belong to Christian sects of Eastern Christianity. First, Christian returned to the city were deported before the siege of the Crusader and named by the Crusaders as "Syrian." At the same time encouraged local authorities to settle in Crusader Jerusalem Christians, although suspicious relations, various sediments and struggle for supremacy and control of the Holy Sepulcher poisons the atmosphere. That settled in 1115 Syrian Christians in the city, uprooted from their homes in Transjordan, creating a continuum populated north side of town, district called after them. Simultaneously, the Kings Crusader encourage commerce, and in 1120 King called Baldwin II of Jerusalem the duties imposed on goods and food products introduced into Jerusalem and the exemption was extended to all types of trade and all the Christian and Muslims brought agricultural food products from the hinterland of the city.

Economy of Jerusalem relied uncharacteristically cities in Middle Ages on tourism of Pilgrimage from Christian Europe and has received a further boost exempted from customs enabled to develop the markets of the city and sell them GOODS Imported. Importance of this industry has grown with the establishment of Jerusalem as a holy religious and road traffic safety improvement. Another factor affecting the economy of the city was the various administrative centers present – regal, ecclesiastical, and military – that operated from Jerusalem.

Being a capital city, Jerusalem was the center of the military parade. Oldest - 'Order of the Hospitallers', was established, originally, to provide medical assistance to the Pilgrims Christians, who wanted to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In time, he assumed the order also Muslims warfare roles. Beginning of the parade around the year 1080. Order a complex sign – now the Muristan, close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Built a house here – hospitals and home – shelter, where pilgrims would find relief from the hardships of the way after months of exhausting journeys by land and sea. Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela said that the Order is set to fight against the infidels 400 Knight s riding.[4]

Order the second largest competitor crown shield of faith, 'Knights Templar' (Templars), founded in 1118 and his official capacity as indicated by the Declaration of founders was to protect the Crusader kingdom in the Holy Land and the Pilgrims Pilgrimage to the holy places in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Alongside the protection of pilgrims, Knights provided a very strong military force that included thousands of soldiers, including several hundred knights in defense of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Templars established their headquarters at Al-Aqsa Mosque and over time added complex structures and strengthened the fortifications. The Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela said that "300 Knights" out of Solomon's Temple to fight the enemies of the Christian faith [5]

Another parade was special characteristics Order of Saint Lazarus, a Christian religious order founded to care for patients in the leprosy. A special session was set for them outside of the walls of Jerusalem next to new gateway, and named after Lazarus holy. Leper House gave its name to all leper colonies established all over Europe.[6] Order of Saint Lazarus was out – the side that was made of lepers and healthy people who have held positions of religious and military. Headed by Master he was a leper. This phenomenon – a military religious order who takes an active part in the country shoulder to shoulder with a healthy population, there was no parallel in Europe of that time, it could not fill positions pariah state.

Ayyubid Jerusalem


Capture of Jerusalem

After the victory of the Muslims in the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187, conquered almost all cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and citadels, were left without protectors, by the Muslim army conductor led by Saladin. On September 17 were Muslim troops against the walls of Jerusalem, and – September 20 was Saladin himself at the head most of his army and besieging Jerusalem, which were at 30,000 and about 30,000 refugees from around the Christian Land of Israel. The siege was relatively short but intense and violent, when both sides feel that war is the symbol of its religion and culture centers. After bitter fighting the Muslims were able to undermine the city's fortifications in the area between Damascus Gate to Herod's Gate, near where the Crusaders broke into their town in 1099. Defenders realized that they were all doomed, and that is not possible to save the Christian conquest of Jerusalem. Requested by the Latin Patriarch Hiraklios, and probably pressure the civilian population pressure fell ghost battles, Christian decided to enter into negotiations with Saladin – a conditional surrender law. The only card left by the Crusaders was the threat that if not end the blockade hurt the Islamic holy sites — Temple Mount with Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. This threat, combined with pressure from the Muslim battalion commanders to end the fighting, the signing of a contract which give the city surrender Saladin – Dean, and residents are prisoners of war they can redeem themselves for a fee.

On October 2 was given to Jerusalem to Saladin — Dean and Latin Christians began to port it. Rich of the city managed to save themselves, but the poor and the refugees who came to town with nothing, having already fled their homes, unable to pay the ransom. The church treasures were mostly from the city by the Latin Patriarch, who saw fit to release prisoners of maturity funds, but passed them with Muslim cavalry to Contact. The interesting part of town actually saved Saladin — , releasing thousands of them without compensation. Between released without ransom was Queen Sybil, wife of Guy de Lusignan, king of Jerusalem captive, she was allowed to visit him instead of his imprisonment in the Nablus . About 15,000 Christians left destitute after 40 days in the city were evacuated prisoners from Jerusalem in convoys towards Muslim cities such as Damascus and Cairo, where they spent their lives as slaves. Christians who managed to extricate themselves from the land of Israel and Jerusalem went through Port s controlled by the Egyptians, such as Ashkelon, and even through Alexandria, where they were loaded on ships of the Italian communes on their way to Europe.[7] the fall of Jerusalem and the holy places shocked Europe. The shock would result in the sudden death of Pope Third Urban, and the departure of the Third Crusade. For Saladin, was the conquest of Jerusalem valuable political achievement, placing it as the defender of religion, legendary military as commander in chief, and gave him a special status in the Muslim world.

Jerusalem under the Muslims

After the conquest of Jerusalem, Saladin acted to erase the city's Christian character. Crosses looming over the holy places in Temple Mount were removed, and the buildings returned to their previous statuses as mosques. Al-Aqsa Mosque, which during the Crusader period was the center of the Templar Order, was "purified" of any Christian symbols. Crusader building additions were destroyed and expensive furniture items brought into place. In the Dome of the Rock, idols and altars were removed and the building returned to being a mosque. The Great Mary Church building became a hospital (now the area known as Muristan). The Church of St. Anne became a madrasa, and other churches were destroyed and its stones were used to repair damage from the siege. In addition, much attention was devoted to intensive efforts have been invested in restoration and enhancement of the fortifications of the city to prepare a possible future attack Christian.

The Crusaders were mostly driven from the city, but local Christians, who belonged to the Orthodox Churches, remained in the city as dhimmis by paying a poll tax (Arabic: Jizz'ya جزية), and in return they were allowed to live in the city.[8] The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was handed over to the Greek Orthodox community, and the keys of the church were entrusted to two Muslim families. To strengthen its position and image of the Muslim of Jerusalem, Saladin created a system of waqf — sustained religious institutions in Jerusalem, like schools and mosques, by linkage to assets producing revenues of which were rent, and rent, and were intended for funding continuous of endowment, ongoing maintenance of the building, and support believers.

The Christian world's response came quickly, and Third Crusade came from Europe in 1190 to reverse the effects of the defeat of the Battle of Hattin, retake the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the city of Jerusalem. Fighting began with the siege of Acre (1189–1191), and from there the Crusaders led by Richard the Lionheart moved on to Jerusalem. After the military success in Battle of Arsuf, the Crusaders came to Jerusalem, but withdrew and decided not to try to conquer it for various tactical and political reasons. Instead, both sides entered negotiations, during which Saladin declared that the idea of jihad and the sanctity of Jerusalem to Islam received a new and central meaning in his eyes. In a letter to the king of England, he admits that he could not discuss the future of Jerusalem:[9]

Do not resemble the king in his soul that such a waiver is possible, I would never dare to voice a word of it to the Muslims

Eventually Richard the Lionheart was forced to leave the Holy Land by the Muslims, and according to The Jaffa Agreement of 1192, Christians had the freedom to make pilgrimage to visit holy places.

Destruction of Jerusalem

With the death of Saladin in 1193, the Ayyubid Empire disintegrated and was divided among his sons. Struggles between principalities Job premiere and prestige tore the Middle East, and alliances formed and dissolved. Jerusalem fell from its status as the capital and a Muslim religious center and the city became a provincial capital whose center was often Damascus or Cairo. However, the Crusaders left the city as a focus for Christian–Muslim conflict. This combination of reduced geopolitical status and inter-religious strife brought devastation to the city during The Fifth Crusade.

The Ayyubid ruler of Syria, Al-Mu'azzam, who, until that time, was determined to rehabilitate fortifications and buildings in Jerusalem, decided to divert the efforts of the Crusader principal in The Fifth Crusade from Egypt and make it the Muslim warriors, and turned his efforts on the systematic destruction of the Crusader castles in Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular. Muslim anger was directed mainly to Jerusalem. Command to destroy the town to the ground, given by the Sultan, seemed so implausible, it took the actual presence of the – Moaat, from Jerusalem to carry them out. So the city passed two waves of destruction in 1219 and 1220. Absolute and brutal destruction, which destroyed most buildings in Jerusalem and destroyed its walls, dragged severe reactions from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who thought that was Judgment Day. Muslim women of Jerusalem cut their hair and put it in sign of mourning plaza Temple Mount. The vast majority of the population, including the Jewish community, left Jerusalem, and the city remained standing mostly Citadel Tower of David Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Muslim Domain sacred Temple Mount.

Jerusalem return to the Crusaders

Fridrich2 Al-Kamil

Frederick II and the Egyptian sultan Malik Allachaml meet at the walls of Jerusalem

Trying to Jerusalem a Christian power and return to the situation before the Battle of Hattin spawned a series of crusades while they exhaust the power of Europe, but did not bring the desired results.


  1. Thomas Asbridge. The First Crusade: A New History. Oxford University Press
  2. quoted in: Joshua Prawer, "Jewish settlement", Joshua Prawer and Haggai Ben – May (eds.), a book Jerusalem – Crusader and Ayyubid Period (1250–1099) ', Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, Tsn"a, Page 201.
  3. quoted Joshua Prawer, Crusader rule, where Page 29
  4. Book Travels of R. Benjamin, the late edition of the priest, Nathan Adler, London Trs"z, reprinted again, Jerusalem: Hebrew University – Department of History of Israel, EDUCATIONAL 1960, Page 23.
  5. ibid, w 24 /
  7. p. 9
  8. Joshua Prawer, 'History of the Crusader kingdom in Israel, Volume II, pp. 558.
  9. Emmanuel Sivan, "The sanctity of Jerusalem in Islam During the Period of Crusaders" in: Joshua Prawer and Haggai Ben-Shammai (eds.),The History of Jerusalem: The Crusader and Ayyubid Period (1099-1250 '), Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, pp. 297. (Hebrew)
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