The First Crusade (1096)
Led by Godofredo de Bulhões. This crusade contained some of the most important names of the feudal nobility of the time and was composed of approximately 150,000 men.
After three years of campaigning, they seized Jerusalem on July 15, 1099. Godfred of Bulhões received the title of "Defender of the Holy Sepulcher". To ensure the defense of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, military-religious orders such as the Teutonic, Hospitallers and The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ or Knights Templar were created.
The Second Crusade
A new Muslim onslaught recovered Edessa, regaining part of the Kingdom of Antioch. A second crusade was organized by the kings of France and the Holy Roman Empire. Due to the poor reception achieved in Constantinople, the crusader army split and weakened. Their initial objective was to reach Damascus, but, weakened as they were, they were defeated by the Turks before they arrived.
The Third Crusade (Kings Crusade)
Becoming a sultan of Egypt, Saladin, allied with Baghdad, declared a Muslim Holy War against Christians. In 1187, they resumed Jerusalem resulting in the formation of the "Crusade of Kings". It was led by Frederick I of the Roman-German Empire, Philip Augustus of France and Richard the Lionheart of England. The campaign had disastrous results: Frederick I passed away, Philip returned to defeated France, and Richard the Lionheart remained in Palestine trying to recover Jerusalem. This crusade, however, represented progress in Christian-Muslim relations. Richard the Lionheart has entered into a treaty with Saladin recognizing Christian rule over a Palestinian coastline which gives them access to Jerusalem.
The Fourth Crusade (Venetian Crusade)
It was a crusade driven by economic interests. Summoned by Innocent III to attack Egypt and Palestine from Venice. It encountered an obstacle in the high amount required by the Italian city to carry the crusaders. Since they could not get the required amount, Venice proposed a deal: The Crusaders were to take the city of Zara on the Adriatic, whose prosperity worried Venice. Then, against the will of Innocent III, they attacked Constantinople, which opposed a war against the Muslims with whom it had good business relations. It was a crusade of Christians against Christians that was not seen to the initial goals.
The Fifth Crusade
Directed by André I from Hungary. It had no major historical importance.
In the face of constant defeat and deviation from the religious purpose of the Crusades, the legend spread that the Holy Sepulcher - where, according to the Bible, Jesus Christ was buried - could only be conquered by children, since they were free from sin. In 1212, 20,000 Germanians and 30,000 francs were gathered and sent to Jerusalem. Many of these children eventually died along the way, others were murdered or imprisoned and sold into slavery in the eastern markets. In short, the expedition was a big failure.
The Crusade of Children, by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)