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A.D. 1202 – Crusaders’ siege of Zara . Medieval Zara was one the most promising cities in the Mediterranean. Zara was even a threat to a Venice itself. Pope Innocent III in 1198. called for a crusade to recapture the Holy Land. Crusaders formed a massive army and problem was their transport to the east. Venetians constructed a fleet of war galleys and transport ships for the army, but Crusaders didn’t have enough money so Venetians and Crusaders made a deal. Crusaders will capture Zara, eliminating Venice’s rival and missing part of their debt will be forgiven. . Some crusaders deserted because of the idea of attacking the Christian city, but Venetian leader Enrico Dandolo persuaded most of them at took a lead. And so at 11th of November 1202. the most traumatic event in Zara’s history happened. Zara’s habitants put Christian flags on the city walls and their windows, but nothing could stop Crusaders’ attack. Although slaves were common oarsmen at that time, in this siege oarsmen were well armed Venetian soldiers. The horse carriers featured specially designed slings to carry their cargo of horses, and featured a fold-out ramp below the waterline that could be opened to allow mounted knights to charge directly onto shore. Crusaders’ ships penetrated chains with their metal-tipped rams and wooden crowns at the front of the ships together with ladders allowed them to enter the city. Zara’s citizens even took crosses into battle but that didn’t stopped blood-thirsty crusaders. During the siege, 150 siege weapons like trebuchets, ballistas and mangonels were used to bombard the city walls. Plunder took place, and many of the city’s treasures found their new home in Italy… Many of citizens were sacked and some managed to escape… Crusaders’ attack on Zara was the beginning of the fourth Crusade. After Zara, Crusaders attacked and destroyed Constantinople. After all plunders and sacking Crusaders forgot the holy goal and never reached the Holy Land. Altogether events weakened western empire allowing Ottomans to penetrate deep to Europe. Venice became the biggest force in Mediterranean and Zara never reached fame and glory of that time. More on the event: Siege of Zara MOC is created together with my girlfriend Azra and with help of my friends from Croatian LUG Kockice – Luka Kapeter, Gordan Grguric, Zelimir Peris and Dario Dominovic.

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