The Crusades were a series of military campaigns launched by Christian armies from Western Europe against the Muslims of the Middle East. In 1076, a Muslim army captured Jerusalemthe birthplace of Jesus. Jesus had been born in nearby Bethlehem and he had spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He was crucified on Calvary Hill (also in Jerusalem). In fact, Christians refered to this important center as the "City of God."

Jerusalem likewise was an important religious center for Muslims. They worshipped the same God as the Christians and Jews; and the Prophet (Muhammed) had spent some time there. Muslims had constructed a beautiful place of worship called the "Dome of the Rock" in Jerusalem; moreover, the important Al-Aksa Mosque was also present in this city.

Inspired by their strong faith in God, both Christian and Muslim resolved to fight one another for the next three centuries for control of this city and the surrounding "Holy Land."