The Church of St. Anne is a beautiful 12th-century Crusader church, erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of Anne (Hannah), the mother of Mary. It is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture.
St. Anne's Church was built between 1131 and 1138 to replace a previous Byzantine church. Shortly after its construction, it was enlarged by moving the facade forward by several meters.
In 1192, Saladin turned the church into a Muslim theological school, which is commemorated in an inscription above the church's entrance. Eventually abandoned, the church fell into ruin until the Ottomans donated it to France in 1856. It was subsequently restored, but most of what remains today is original.
The church is right next to the Bethesda Pool, believed to be the site where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5:1-15). Here you can see ruins of a Roman temple to the god of medicine and remains of a Byzantine church built over the temple.
As the church is just a few hundred feet east of the Sanctuaries of the Flagellation and the Condemnation, at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, you might want to visit it before following the stations of the cross.
Saint Anne's acoustics, designed for Gregorian chant, are so perfect that the church is virtually a musical instrument to be played by the human voice. Pilgrim groups come to sing in the church throughout the day, and you, too, are welcome to prepare a song of any religion--only religious songs are permitted. The church's acoustics are most amazing when used by a soprano or a tenor solo voice.
St. Anne's Church is located in the Muslim Quarter, near the Lion's Gate. Enter through a wooden doorway leading to a hidden garden enclave.
Quick Facts on the Church of St. Anne
|Names:||Church of St. Anne|
|Categories:||churches; biblical sites|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||31.781399° N, 35.236362° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near the Church of St. Anne|
Map of the Church of St. Anne, Jerusalem
Below is a location map and aerial view of the Church of St. Anne. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.