Segments in this Video

True Heroes of the Crusade (01:11)


Film host Tim Severin tells viewers about the journey he took on horseback to retrace the First Crusade.

Ardennes Horse (01:53)

The Forest of Ardennes is home to the oldest surviving breed of horse in Europe--the Ardennes heavy horse. These horses went as battle chargers on the First Crusade.

First Crusade (02:46)

By 1096, the path beyond Constantinople was closed to pilgrims by Turkish invaders. Christians throughout Europe banded together on what would become the First Crusade. Film host Tim Severin rides his Ardennes stallion.

Beginning of the Journey (01:24)

On the first day of the journey to recreate the 2,500-mile trip to Jerusalem, Severin and his companion Sarah set out from the castle of Duke Godfrey de Bouillon. They follow the old Roman road across Germany and into Austria.

Crusaders and the Ardennes Horse (03:32)

Severin discovers that riding an Ardennes heavy horse "is purgatory." The crusaders used these horses as pack animals and rode smaller horses. After 700 miles, Tim and Sarah enjoy watching highly skilled Hungarian horsemen.

Into the Byzantine Empire (01:47)

Tim and Sarah's route crosses into Bulgaria and into what was once the Byzantine Empire. Four months into the journey to Jerusalem, each of the three horses has established its own character.

Istanbul and Nicaea (04:22)

Duke Godfrey's knights and entourage 900 years ago spent a miserable winter outside Constantinople. Tim and Sarah follow the path of the Crusade into Asia. The Crusaders' first objective was to capture the walled city of Nicaea.

Ambush at Dorylaeum (02:09)

In intensely hot weather conditions, the Ardennes stallion loses several hundred pounds. Should he continue? Leaving Nicaea, the Crusaders rode deeper into Anatolia where they were ambushed at Dorylaeum.

End of Journey for Ardennes Stallion (03:39)

The Ardennes stallion's journey ends after 2,000 miles. He retires to a farm. The other two horses rest for 6 months. The following spring, Tim and Sarah ride through Cappadocia where Christian homes and chapels are carved into solid rock.

Replacement for Ardennes Stallion (02:29)

To replace the Ardennes stallion, Tim and Sarah use a Turkish pack horse to accompany them further. The travelers break camp and move on through the Turkish countryside.

Villagers and Nomads (02:53)

While villages are far and few between, villagers are hospitable and generous to Tim and Sarah and the horses. The riders choose a path through mountains where they find nomads from the Syrian border who are moving north with their sheep.

Tragic Loss of Horse (04:38)

Mystery, Tim and Sarah's horse, dies on the plains where thousands of Crusaders suffered and died 900 years before. If Tim and Sarah continue the journey, they must consider replacing their remaining horses.

Antioch (04:10)

The Crusaders laid siege to Antioch for seven months during which time many died from starvation and the elements. The Crusaders were ultimately victorious. At Antioch, Tim and Sarah look for a replacement for Mystery.

Crusader Castles (03:04)

From Antioch, the Crusaders marched into Syria, following the coast road. Today the Crusader castles of Syria remain as imposing monuments to the military technology of another age. Tim and Sarah avoid Lebanon and head south to Damascus.

Damascus--Umayyad Mosque (00:56)

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus is one of the great centers of Muslim faith.

Palestine and the Jordan River (01:56)

Tim and Sarah arrive at the border of Jordan. They are within 100 miles of Jerusalem. At the edge of the great desert that stretches south into Arabia, Bedouin families live as they have since Biblical times.

Dead Sea and Judea (02:57)

Sancho, the oldest horse on the journey, is seized with cramps. The horse is taken in by a wealthy Arab farmer. Tim and Sarah ride out from the shores of the Dead Sea and through Judea. They have been in the saddle for 8 1/2 months.

Siege of Jerusalem (02:23)

The Crusaders besieged the walls of Jerusalem until they broke through. They marched to the Dome of the Rock where they looted its treasures. For three days, they pillaged the city and masaquered thousands of people.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher (04:07)

For the Crusaders, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was the ultimate shrine, the place of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Tim and Sarah dismount at Herod's Gate in order to walk on foot along the Via Dolorosa.

Credits: Crusader: By Horse to Jerusalem (00:42)

Credits: Crusader: By Horse to Jerusalem

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Crusader: By Horse to Jerusalem

Part of the Series : Retracing History
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



The march to Jerusalem was the greatest land journey of the Middle Ages. Recreating the 2,500-mile trip from the green lands of northern Europe to the burning deserts of Sinai, this program leaves from the castle of Duke Godfrey de Bouillon, hero of the First Crusade, plodding along on a one-ton descendant of the medieval battle charger across the lands of medieval Christendom, climbing the Anatolian plateau, seeing the Crusader castles and ancient battlefields in Syria, finally crossing the Jordan River and reaching the jewel in the Crusader’s crown, Jerusalem. (54 minutes)

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL4294

Copyright date: ©1993

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.