A large vault built in the Crusader period (1099-1187) in the center of the Old City markets, near the Cardo and Decumanus* crossing, south of St. John's Hospital (which operated here during the Crusader period). After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, the hospital continued to function in the Ayyubid period (1187-1250) and was then destroyed. See site no. 389 - St. John Hospitaller Memorial Site - the Knights Order, site no. 317, and site no. 392 - the Lutheran school, located on the remains of the Crusader hospital. There is another vault structure southeast of the site (in Plots 27 + 134 between David Street, Habad and the three markets), it is also an integral part of the Cardo shops complex.
About Crusaders and Jerusalem during the Crusader Period
Crusader forces conquered Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade and made Jerusalem the capital of the Crusader Christian Kingdom after 450 years of Muslim rule. The Crusader-Ayyubid period of Jerusalem ended with the rise of the Mamluks in Egypt in 1260 and the conquest of the Land of Israel. The goal of the First Crusade was the conquest of Jerusalem and the liberation of the Holy Sepulcher Church from Muslim rule. The journey began on November 27th, 1095 when Pope Urban II called for a crusade to the Holy Land. After three years of arduous journeys, the first Crusaders (on June 7, 1099) arrived at Nabi Samuel, the hill west of Jerusalem, and gazed upon the Holy City. The Crusader forces besieged the city on June 13 and held the siege until they succeeded in toppling the Muslim defense. They broke into the city and massacred its inhabitants. After a Muslim victory led by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187, almost all the cities of the Crusader Kingdom and its fortresses were conquered by the victorious Muslim army. The Muslim battalions encircled Jerusalem and subdued the Crusader forces on October 2, 1187. The fall of Jerusalem and the holy places shook Europe. The shock brought about the sudden death of Pope Urban III and the departure of the Third Crusade.
After the conquest of Jerusalem, the Muslims tried to erase its Christian characteristics. The crosses above the holy sites on the Temple Mount were removed and the buildings became mosques again. The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which during the Crusader period were the center of the Templar Order, were cleansed of all Christian symbols. The Santa Maria Maggiore Church compound in Muristan became a hospital and the Church of Santa Ana became a Muslim madrasa.
In light of this reality, the Third Crusade left to recapture Jerusalem in 1190. The battles began with the conquest of Acre, and then Richard the Lionheart led the crusaders to Jerusalem. Although they were successful along the coastline, they eventually had to surrender, leave the Holy Land, and leave Jerusalem in the hands of the Muslims. The attempt to restore Jerusalem to Christian rule gave rise to a series of other (fourth and fifth) crusades that exhausted Europe's power and did not produce the desired results.
The sixth Crusade, led by Frederick II, left Italy for the Holy Land in 1228. This journey was fundamentally different from all other Crusades. This campaign did not involve fighting between the Muslims and the Crusaders but mainly focused on conducting negotiations. A peace treaty was signed in which the Crusaders received control of Jerusalem and other holy places in Israel.
The fall of the Crusader kingdom reached its peak with their defeat in the battle of La Forbie/bataille de Harbiyah in October 1244 between the Crusaders and their Muslim allies and Egypt, not far from the city of Gaza. In this battle, the Egyptians won, and the Crusaders suffered their worst defeat since the disaster of Hattin. The churches in Jerusalem were destroyed together with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Crusader Orders
Jerusalem became the capital of the Crusader kingdom and the center of the military orders. The first order was the Order of the Hospitallers, the Order of St. John in Jerusalem (in Latin: Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani). It was established in 1080 to provide medical aid to Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem. The Order also defended and fought against Muslims. The order ran the Muristan compound, established a hospital and a guesthouse where the pilgrims could find relief from the hardships of months of arduous journeys in the sea and on land.
After the fall of the Crusader Kingdom in the 13th century, the Order moved its headquarters to the island of Rhodes and then to the island of Malta. Later, the Order became a religious charity. It was divided into five organizations: the "original" order is in Vatican City, a Catholic organization known today as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The other four branches are Protestant orders in Berlin, The Hague, Amsterdam and London.
The second order is the Knights Templar Order of the Temple of Solomon. It was founded in 1118 by knights-monks whose official task was to protect the Crusader Kingdom in the Holy Land and the pilgrims who arrived to see the holy sites. Other than the protecting the pilgrims, the Hospitallers provided a skilled military force that included thousands of soldiers and hundreds of knights. The Templars established their headquarters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and over time built more wings. In addition to the order's military duties, it had an extensive network of branches in Europe that helped pilgrims and other Christian organizations transfer money and shipments safely from one place to another. The motto of the Order was "Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam"
Another order was the Order of St. Lazarus, a religious order set up to care for the sick. They were not part of the fighting forces. They devoted all their resources to the care and treatment of leprosy patients. Their center was outside the Old City, where they established a leper colony. The religious and administrative jobs were filled by healthy as well as the sick.
*Cardo: The name means 'central axis' in Latin. It is the name of the main axis that crossed cities and military camps throughout the Roman Empire from north to south. The Cardo was usually used as the city's main commercial center, with shops, cafés and stores. The street that connected with the Cardo was called Decumanus. These two streets divided the city into four quarters. At the crossroads between the Cardo and the Decumanus was a large square - the Cardinal, where the Roman Forum was located. In Jerusalem, it was the market center, instead of a square. This design was brought to Jerusalem by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who restored and built the Capitolina between 135 and 326 CE
1. Muristan-Ex Hospice St. John (site no. 317)- The finds that survived in the present-day Muristan show that it was the Hospitaller Order hospital during the Crusader period. The site was built on earlier foundations from the Late Roman period and the days of the Aelia Capitolina (135-326 CE). The Hospitaller Order buildings and the churches of Santa Maria Latina and Santa Maria Maggiore were built here at the beginning of the 11th century. The Order even purchased the nearby St. John the Baptist Church (site no. 310) (John the Baptist is the patron of the order) and built living quarters for the knights along the Christians Street and David Street. The site was abandoned after the Muslim conquest until the beginning of the 19th century. In 1847, the Greek Orthodox Church renovated the St. John the Baptist compound and has run it ever since. The area east of Muristan was given to the German heir, Friedrich Wilhelm, by the Turkish sultan, during Wilhelm's visit to Jerusalem in 1869. The Germans began building the Church of the Redeemer (completed in 1898) and the German Emperor Wilhelm II and his wife Augusta Victoria arrived for the inauguration. In 1903, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate built a market with about 70 stores over the rest of the Muristan area. There was a magnificent water fountain in the middle of the compound dedicated to the Sultan Abd al-Hamid II on the 25th anniversary of his coronation.
2. The St. John Order of Jerusalem began in the 7th century when the first hospital was established for pilgrims. It was destroyed in 1010 and rebuilt in 1050 by Italian merchants from the city of Amalfi. In 1099 a group of Crusader monks and knights (headed by the monk Gerard) assumed responsibility for the hostel and the hospital in Muristan.
3. The Johanniter Order of St. John belongs to the German branch of the Hospitaller Order that disengaged from the Catholic Order and in 1812 became Protestant-Lutheran. Since then it has been known as the Brandenburg Order of the Knights of St. John. In German: Balley Brandenburg des Ritterlichen Ordens Sankt Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem. For short: the Johannites, in German: Der Johanniterorden. See site no. 408, the Johanniter Order of St. John compound,150 meters north of the Church of the Redeemer
1. Adjacent sites: Lutheran School (site no. 392), German Hospice (site no. 390), Church of the Redeemer (site no. 387), Church of St. Maria Latina (remains) (site no. 388), St. John Hospitaller Memorial Site - the Knights Order (site no. 389), Muristan Ex Hospice St. John (site no. 317), Othman ibn Affan Mosque (site no. 172), Makam Sheikh Rabaiin (site no. 181), Khan el Sultan (site no. 182), St. Mark Lutheran Guesthouse (site no. 401).
2. Relationship to the Johanniter Order of St. John compound (site no. 408), 150 meters north of the Church of the Redeemer. The compound belongs to the German branch of the Hospitaller Order that disengaged from the Catholic Order and in 1812 became Protestant-Lutheran. Since then it has been known as the Brandenburg Order of the Knights of St. John. In German: Balley Brandenburg des Ritterlichen Ordens Sankt Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem. For short: the Johannites, in German: Der Johanniterorden.
3. Other sites dedicated to St. John: Sheikh Jarrah Eye Hospital, Beit Ot HaMutsar- outside the Old City.
4. The Lazarist Monastery (site no. 338) is rooted in the Order of St. Lazarus (named after St. Lazarus, Simon the Leper), as is written in the gospel: " Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper" (Matthew 26:6), " While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,* as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head." (Mark 14:3). They were a crusader order of Christian knights who devoted themselves to the treatment and care of leprosy.
5. Linked to the Church of Mary of the German Knights (St. Maria Alemannorum), built as a basilica in 1128 by the German Hospitallers Knights. They built a church, a hospital and a hostel to help the German-speaking pilgrims.
6. Related to other sites and structures established by the Crusaders that still exist today - Holy Sepulcher Church (site no. 242), Tomb of the Virgin Mary (site no. 424), The Sanctuary of the Ascension (site no. 468), St. Anne's Church (site no. 264), David Citadel, Qalat Daoud (site no. 013) , Cenacle, The Last Supper Hall (site no. 462), and sites west of the Old City: the Monastery of the Cross (1.6 km west of the Old City), Ein Hemed Fortress (10 km away) and the Tomb of Samuel (about 7 kilometers from the Old City).
The site is closed to the public.
The site includes about 950 square meters of land (about 0.9 dunam). Urban Building Plan AM/9, in effect from March 31, 1977, the site is designated as an area for commercial use.