In episode three, Simon explores how this unique city rose from a crumbling ruin after the crusades to be rebuilt as a world centre of Islamic pilgrimage. He explains how Jerusalem became the object of rivalry between the Christian nations of Europe, the focus of the longing of Jews from all over the world and, ultimately, the site of one of the world's most intractable conflicts. Starting in the Middle Ages, Simon goes on a chronological journey to trace the revival of the city under the Mamluks and its conquest by the biggest of all the Islamic empires - the Ottomans. He examines how the distinctive national identity of the Arab population evolved under centuries of Turkish Ottoman rule and how the city came to be prized by the great powers of 19th- century Europe. The programme explores the emergence of Zionism and the growing Jewish population of the city and traces the origins of today's nationalist struggle.