St. Anne's Church, Augsburg

St. Anne's (or St. Anna's) Church in Augsburg is a fine 14th-century Gothic church notable for its rich artwork and significant role in Lutheran history.

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History of St. Anne's Church

Built in 1321 by Carmelite monks, St. Anne's Church went on play an important role in the history of the Reformation.

In 1518 that Martin Luther stayed here with the Carmelite friars when he was in town to meet the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the pope. St. Anne's Church converted to Lutheranism in 1545.

The Goldsmith's Chapel was added in 1420; the Fugger's Chapel in 1509. The spire was added in 1607 by Elias Holl.

St. Anne's Church was intimately involved with the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and general religious turmoil of the 17th century. Protestants were twice barred from the church by those trying to restore Catholicism to the area (1629-32 and 1635-49); in the latter period, the congregation worshipped outside in the courtyard of St. Anne's College.

The church was restored and redesigned in the Baroque and Rococo styles between 1747 and 1749.

In 1999, Catholics and Protestants signed an important Joint Declaration on the doctrine of salvation in St. Anne's Church.

What to See at St. Anne's Church

Note: St. Anna's is currently undergoing restoration work that is expected to last until 2011 at least, so there may be limited access to parts of the church until then.

The ceiling of the church is painted with Baroque and Rococo stuccowork and frescoes by Johann Georg Bergmüller (1747) depicting the Sermon on the Mount (representing Jesus the prophet) the Crucifixion (Jesus the priest) and Judgement Day (Jesus the king). The chancel contains several devotional paintings, including Christ Blessing Children by Lucas Cranach. The fine pulpit is by Heinrich Eichler.

The Goldschmiedkapelle (Goldsmith's Chapel) was donated as a pilgrim chapel in 1420 by Conrad and Afra Hirn (whose sarcophagus can be seen in the north transept of Augsburg Cathedral). In 1496, it was enlarged by the goldsmiths and used as their burial chapel. The 15th-century Gothic murals that decorated the chapel mark the transition from mysticism to realism. In the murals on the right, Herod orders the high priests and scribes to find the birthplace of Christ. Nearby is the Magi, then Christ’s passion from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion. On the left is the legend of St. Helena dispatching the pilgrim fathers in search of Christ’s cross. Also depicted are St. Christopher and St. Georg slaying the dragon.

The Fuggerkappelle, the burial chapel of the Fuggers, is the earliest example of Renaissance architecture in Germany. Endowed by Ulrich and Jacob Fugger in 1509 for themselves and their deceased brother, it features marble pavement, an organ with painted shutters, stained glass, choir stalls, a sculptural group of The Lamentation over the Dead Christ and memorial relief tablets designed after Durer woodcuts.

Left of the Fuggerkappelle is the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre (1506), an imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It was purchased in 1656 by the Österreicher family.

Part of the former Carmelite friary has been turned into an exhibit on Luther's life and times and the beginnings of the Reformation in Augsburg. Called the Lutherstiege ("Luther Staircase"), the worthwhile museum includes the actual room Luther stayed in (Lutherkammer). The Empore, the old gallery for the Carmelites, shows the excommunication bull sent to Luther when he refused to recant. There are also Lutheran manuscripts and other artifacts on display.

Quick Facts on St. Anne's Church

Site Information
Names:St. Anne's Church · St.-Anna-Kirche
Country:Germany
Categories:churches; museums
Styles:Gothic
Dedication: St. Anne
Dates:1321
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:48.367811° N, 10.895176° E
Address:Annastrasse
Augsburg, Germany
Website:www.st-anna-augsburg.de
Hours:May-Oct: Mon 3-6pm, Tue-Sat 10-12:30, 3-6pm, Sun 10-12:30, 3-5pm
Nov-Apr: Mon 3-5pm, Tue-Sun 10-12:30, 3-5pm
Lodging:View hotels near St. Anne's Church
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. The Lutheran Church St. Anna Augsburg - official website
  2. The Rough Guide to Germany 7 (July 2009), 387.

More Information

© Ian Griffiths
© GFDL
© Yuen Long
© Yuen Long
© Andrea Weckerle
© Andrea Weckerle
© Andrea Weckerle
© GFDL

Map of St. Anne's Church, Augsburg

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