Crusader States Outremer

Khwarazmian Empire sacks Jerusalem
©David Roberts
1244 Jul 15

Khwarazmian Empire sacks Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel

In 1244, the Ayyubids allowed the Khwarazmians, whose empire had been destroyed by the Mongols in 1231, to attack the city. The siege took place on 15 July, and the city fell rapidly. The Khwarazmians plundered the Armenian Quarter, where they decimated the Christian population, and drove out the Jews. In addition, they sacked the tombs of kings of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and dug out their bones, in which the tombs of Baldwin I and Godfrey of Bouillon became cenotaphs. On 23 August, the Tower of David surrendered to the Khwarazmian forces, some 6,000 Christian men, women and children marched out of Jerusalem.

The sack of the city and the massacre which accompanied it prompted the Crusaders to assemble a force to join the Ayyubid forces and fight against the Egyptian and Khwarazmian forces in the Battle of La Forbie. Moreover, the events encouraged the king of France Louis IX to organize the Seventh Crusade.

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Last Updated: : Fri Jan 05 2024