The Crusades spanned many centuries and were a series of Holy wars for control of the Holy land regions – in particular the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Islamic control of much of the Holy lands including the City of Jerusalem could not be tolerated by the ‘Christian West’, Christians Pilgrims who traveled throughout the Holy Land regions were also attacked and could not travel safely.
This is why in 1095 Pope Urban II from Clermont-Ferrand (a city and commune in France) reached out to the leaders of Europe and requested their help in reclaiming the Holy Land territories.
Pope Urban II’s appeal was sent out in the year 1095, however, there was a lot of planning and logistics involved and the ‘First Crusade‘ did not begin until the Following Year in 1096!
The First Crusade involved Nobles, not Kings as in other Crusades, they came from different countries across Europe such as France, Italy, and Flanders to answer the Call of Pope Urban II.
In the year 1096, a well-trained and armed group of soldiers and knights led by Nobles would take the perilous journey towards Jerusalem.
The Crusader armies set off from many areas of Europe, but they were all heading in the same direction towards Constantinople which would have been a good meeting point for their forces on their way to Jerusalem!
Many skirmishes and Battles would take place on the Journey to Jerusalem
Many of the Crusades were unsuccessful and some were complete disasters, however, the first crusade was a huge success, not only did the crusading armies take many Muslim strongholds such as Edessa and Antiochian – they also reached and conquered Jerusalem in the Year 1099.
The First Crusade ended in the Year 1096 after Christian forces had recaptured many important locations of the Holy lands and had re-captured the Holy City of Jerusalem.
With this crusader victory – ‘Godfrey de Bouillon’ was made the First ‘King of Jerusalem’ and the Kingdom of Jerusalem was created by the victors together with other Crusader countries.