Crusader States Outremer

Siege of Jerusalem
Saladin and Christians of Jerusalem ©François Guizot
1187 Sep 20 - Oct 2

Siege of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel

The siege of Jerusalem lasted from 20 September to 2 October 1187, when Balian of Ibelin surrendered the city to Saladin. Earlier that summer, Saladin had defeated the kingdom's army and conquered several cities. The city was full of refugees and had few defenders, and it fell to the besieging armies. Balian bargained with Saladin to buy safe passage for many, and the city came into Saladin's hands with limited bloodshed. Though Jerusalem fell, it was not the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, as the capital shifted first to Tyre and later to Acre after the Third Crusade. Latin Christians responded in 1189 by launching the Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus, and Frederick Barbarossa separately. In Jerusalem, Saladin restored Muslim holy sites and generally showed tolerance towards Christians; he allowed Orthodox and Eastern Christian pilgrims to visit the holy sites freely -- though Frankish (i.e. Catholic) pilgrims were required to pay a fee for entry. The control of Christian affairs in the city was handed over to the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople.

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Last Updated: : Sun Aug 14 2022