The Crusades, a series of holy wars led by the Catholic Popes, began in 1096 when Pope Urban II announced the launching of a united Christian army to retake the Holy Land. Announced on the 27 of November at the Council of Clermont, the Crusade was a response to the Byzantine Empire’s appeal for help to retake land back from the Seljuk Turks who dominated the area. The many battles and massacres of the Crusade culminated in the Christian conquest of Jerusalem, which survived as a kingdom from 1099-1187, and was re-established by the Third Crusade from 1192-1271. It survived for almost 200 years. Eventually Jerusalem fell into Muslim hands and the kingdom collapsed. Tens of thousands of Christians, Jews, and Muslims were killed as a result of this bloody war.
“A great city, whose image dwells in the memory of man, is the type of some great idea. Rome represents conquest; Faith hovers over the towers of Jerusalem; and Athens embodies the pre-eminent quality of the antique world, Art.”