What is the importance of Crusader art and architecture?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are relatively few surviving pieces of crusader art and architecture but the items which have survived, are of great importance to historians. First of all, these pieces tell us a great deal about how the Western Medieval Church viewed itself, most notably by the sheer number of new churches that were built in and around the Holy Lands. 

As a driving force in the Crusades, fighting a battle against Islam, the Church held an important military duty and we can see this in  the way that churches were decorated and fortified, especially in the number and styles of the sculptures. 

Finally, the presence of art and architecture demonstrates the crusaders' political need to be visually represented in the states of the Holy Land. It is evident of their growth in these towns and cities and of their desire to spread the Christiana message. Of course, the fact that so many pieces of art and architecture have not survived not only leaves many gaps in our knowledge but demonstrates the brutality and physical destruction of these holy wars. 

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