The Baltic Crusades were a series of military campaigns commencing in 1147 and ending in 1505, targeting the pagans living in the Baltic region.
Join me as we take a look at one of the lesser-known series of crusades...
Meet the Balts
The Wendish Crusade I - Henry the Lion
Here is a statue which is thought to represent the Duke of Saxony - Henry the Lion. Located in Braunschweig Cathedral in Germany.
The Wendish Crusade II - Wrong bird!
The Wendish Crusade III - In the shadow of the Crusade
This bleak painting is by 19th century German artist Caspar David Friedrich. He was raised on the shores of the Baltic Sea and I think it nicely depicts the difficulty of establishing churches in pagan lands prior to the Baltic Crusades
The Teutonic Knights
Here is a picture of a man wearing the habit of the Teutonic Order (from the Codex Manesse)
The Christianisation of Poland.
Here is a nice portrait of Mieszko I of Poland - unfortunately it may not be terribly accurate as it was painted (by Jan Matejko) around 900 years after his death.
The Livonian Crusade I - Latin-Christian expansion.
Here is an aerial view of the old town of Lübeck, established prior to the Livonian Crusade.
The Livonian Crusade II - An unpromising start.
The Livonian Crusade III - Bishop Albert
Here's a statue of Bishop Albert on the facade of the Cathedral in Riga, Latvia.
The Livonian Crusade IV - The Swordbrothers
Here is a picture of a Teutonic Knight and a Swordbrother. The Swordbrother is on the right, striking a superhero pose.
The Livonian Crusade V - The Christian Pageant
The Livonian Crusade VI - Polotsk
The Livonian Crusade VII - Livonian uprising
Here is a picture of the town of Polotsk (capital city of the Russian Principality of Polotsk) during the 16th century.
The Livonian Crusade VIII - External threats
Here is coin minted during the reign of the all-conquering King Valdemar II of Denmark - featuring a picture of the man himself.
The Livonian Crusade IX - 'Life is not fair. Praise God'
The Livonian Crusade X - Headaches for Bishop Albert
The Livonian Crusade XI - Attacking the neighbours.
Here is a picture of Otto IV of Saxony, shaking hands with Pope Innocent III. Otto is the child-like figure in the middle of the picture.
The Livonian Crusade XII - Livonia under attack