Open Hours: Apr-Sep: Daily 8a-noon, 2p-6p; Oct-Mar: Daily 8a-noon, 2p-5p
The compound in which St Anne's Church sits is now the home of the French White Fathers. In the time of Hadrian, the site ... More
St Anne's Church
The compound in which St Anne's Church sits is now the home of the French White Fathers. In the time of Hadrian, the site held a temple of Asclepius, the Roman god of healing. Somewhat later, a church dedicated to Mary was erected. In the crypt is a shrine commemorating the birth of Mary, whose mother was St Anne. The present building is a very fine example of Crusader architecture. Note the Arabic inscription above the door. Salah-al-Din turned the building into a Muslim madrassa (religious studies school) in 1187.
It was a quiet courtyard and it seemed so difficult to imagine it as a bustling Roman water cistern. Of course St. Anne's is the oldest crusader church, and has somehow stood the test of time there in Jerusalem. Our group sat in this simple yet beautiful church and sang songs. The acoustics for music was astounding. Everything about the experience was memorable, and I can't wait to go back.
In visiting St. Anne's our group was given the VIP tour of the church. If one knows the structure of the church, their visit will be an experience of a lifetime.
The structure of St. Anne's has been studied by Hebrew University and it was said that there are no straight line in St. Anne's building structure. Columns vary in size and decor, windows vary in size, and even the steps vary in width from one end to the other. The church is totally asymmetrical.
Yet, it has perfect acoustics, and even the worst voice will resound as the voice of angels. Just as heaven's choir will be perfect, St. Anne's is a bit of heaven on earth.
No trip to Israel would be complete without the opportunity to stand in the center of St. Anne's and to sing to the Glory of God.
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