Crusades WebQuest

The Crusades are an example of the power of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe. Through this WebQuest you will learn about the important people, events, and effects of the Crusades on Europe and the Middle East. It was not only religion that was impacted through these events, as you will learn.

Welcome to your quest! Behold the journey for your soul... Ye, begin here...

A. Introduction & Motivations of the Crusades
The Crusades were a series of wars during the Middle Ages where the Christians of Europe tried to retake control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims. The "Holy Land" is part of the region we call the Middle East today.

Why did they want to control Jerusalem? 
Jerusalem was important to a number of religions during the Middle Ages. It was important to Jewish people as it was the site of the original temple to God built by King Solomon. It was important to the Muslims because it was where they believe Muhammad ascended (went up) 
to heaven. It was important to Christians as it is where Christ was crucified (killed) and rose again. 

Who fought in the Crusades? 
The Crusades were between the armies of the Europe, mostly the Holy Roman Empire, and the Arabs that had control of Jerusalem. In the FirstCrusade the Seljuk Turks controlled Jerusalem. 

There were around 30,000 soldiers from Europe in the First Crusade, they were made up of knights, peasants, and other commoners. Some saw the army as a way to get rich and try out their fighting skills, while others saw it as a way into Heaven. 

How the Crusades got started...
The initial Crusade began when the Seljuk Turks took control of the Holy Land. Prior to this, the Arabs had been in control of the land. The Arabs had allowed Christians to pilgrimage (travel) and visit the city of Jerusalem. In 1070, when the Turks took control, they began to refuse Christians into the area. The Christian pilgrims were traveling to Jerusalem because of its religious importance to their faith.

Byzantine Emperor Alexius I called for help from the Pope with defending his empire from the Turks and to help push them out of the Holy Land. The Pope helped to gather an army, primarily with the help of the Franks and the Holy Roman Empire.
(excerpt from


B. Who Were the Crusaders?
Look through the links to investigate who Crusaders (European) were and their reasons for joining the Crusades!
 (may have to refresh a few times for it to work -- read text only)

C. The First Crusade  
The First Crusade was in response to a plea for help from the Byzantine Empire Emperor. They were being attacked by the Seljuk Turks who controlled Jerusalem at the time. 

Now read the summary of what happened to Crusaders in the First Crusade. May need to use all resources!

Interactive Map:
Interactive Crusades Map

D. Second & Third Crusades
Read through the following links to discover what happened during the Second and Third Crusades! May need to use all resources. (Third Crusade)

E. Effects of the Crusades
The most important part of the Crusades is not the events themselves, but the effects after the Crusades. The Crusades greatly impacted Medieval Europe as well as the Middle East. Read through the following links to discover why the Crusades were so impactful!