Holy City, Holy War: Devotion to the Sacred in Crusader Jerusalem

A watercolour panorama of Jerusalem with a view of the Dome of the Rock

Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World, 1095–c.1300 was a collaborative project between the University of Birmingham and the Museum of the Order of St John, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2015 to 2017.

Exploring the devotional worlds of medieval crusaders, researchers examined texts, images and objects, studying the rituals that crusaders practised, the religious artefacts they treasured, and the sacred spaces they shaped and were shaped by. Central to this work was a fresh examination of the medieval collections of the Museum of the Order of St John.

The Holy City, Holy War exhibition, which ran from 2 September to 22 December 2017, presented some of the highlights from the Museum’s medieval and post-medieval collections and introduced some of the themes that were at the heart of the project’s research.

The following pages present an online version of the exhibition, with links to many of the objects that were displayed in 2017.

To move through the virtual gallery in sequence, follow the links in the bottom-right corner of each page. You can also navigate to specific sections of the exhibition via the following direct links:

  1. 1. What made the Holy Land ‘Holy’?
  2. 2. The Holiness of the Holy Sepulchre, 1
  3. 3. The Holiness of the Holy Sepulchre, 2
  4. 4. The Holiness of the Holy Sepulchre, 3
  5. 5. The First Crusade and the War for the Holy Sepulchre
  6. 6. The Triumph of the Cross, 1
  7. 7. The Triumph of the Cross, 2
  8. 8. The Holy in the Hospital, 1
  9. 9. The Holy in the Hospital, 2
  10. 10. Graffiti Wall
  11. 11. Behind the Scenes
  12. 12. Acknowledgements

Click here to move through the virtual gallery.