What Were the Crusades and Where Did They Take Place?

The Crusades were a series of religiously motivated wars occurring in the 11th through the 13th centuries, fought primarily throughout the Middle East. The Crusades began after Muslim nations captured Jerusalem, a city holy to Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The Catholic Church launched the First Crusade in 1095 to take back the city, and nearly constant warfare followed for the next 200 years.