January 22, 2022


The Trip Encyclopedia

The Kingdom of Jerusalem

Hello and Welcome to the Holy Land
Lately I have published several attractions dealing with the medieval period of the Holy Land. One of the bloodiest and gruesome eras in the history of the Holy Land: The Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Visiting these attractions we shall explore the farms, fortresses, towns and cities at the heart of the Kingdom, including Jerusalem and the ports of Acre Caesarea.
We will see the great Crusader castles, fortresses, churches, and the battlefields of Hattin.
To understand better these attractions, I suggest you read the following short background on the period. For in depth information, there are many books that you can purchase and read.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Christian kingdom established in the Holy Land in 1099 after the First Crusade. It lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining stronghold, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks.
The First Crusade was preached at the Council of Clermont in 1095 by Pope Urban II, with the goal of assisting the Byzantine Empire against the invasions of the Seljuk Turks. Very soon, however, the participants saw the main objective as recapturing the Holy Land. The kingdom came into being with the arrival of the crusaders in June 1099.
The Crusader armies were formed from troops of different European regions, led by Raymond of Saint-Gilles, Godfrey of Bouillon, Hugh of Vermandois and Bohemond of Taranto (with his nephew Tancred).
The call for the First Crusade touched off the Rhineland massacres. Prominent crusader leaders were involved in the massacres and pogroms.  As part of this persecution, Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz were destroyed.
At first the kingdom was little more than a loose collection of towns and cities captured during the crusade. At its height, the kingdom roughly encompassed the territory of modern-day Israel. During the conquest of the Holy Land, Muslims and Jews were slaughtered. There were attempts to expand the kingdom into Fatimid Egypt. Its kings also held a certain amount of authority over the other crusader states, Tripoli, Antioch, and Edessa.
Initially the Muslims had little concern for the novice kingdom, but as the 12th century progressed, they began to vigorously recapture lost territory.
The Battle of Hattin 1187 was one of the epic battles of the Holy Land when Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub known as Saladin defeated the crusader armies at the Horns of Hattin and conquered the Holy Land, destroying the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Third Crusade in 1191 was an attempt by the European leaders, Richard the Lionheart and Philip II of France, to re-conquer the Holy Land from Saladin. The campaign was largely successful, capturing the important cities of Acre, Caesarea and Yaffo but it failed to capture Jerusalem, the spiritual and economical motivation of the Crusade. The city of Acre was elevated as the Capital of the Holy Land replacing Jerusalem.
During the years 1265 – 1291 began the decisive and final war between the Arabs and the Crusaders ending with the expulsion of the crusaders for the second and final time from the Holy Land by the Mamluk warlord Baibars.