Sunday, December 2, 2012

St. Anne's Church, Budapest

St. Anne's church was built in the the 1700s in the Baroque style. When the city was liberated from Turkish rule in 1686, the Servite Order was given permission to build a monastery and church where a Turkish mosque formerly stood. The new buildings were completed in 1732. Only the church remains today since the monastery was damaged during World War II and the communist government tore it down and put up a post office right against the church. Please note, this is not the more famous church on the Buda side of the Danube, this church is in downtown Pest.

The exterior is joyfully ornate. Nearby is an amazing mosaic depicting Hungarian soldiers inspired by a holy woman.

St. Anne's Church, Budapest

Mosaic of crusaders inspired by a saintly queen?

The interior is also ornate with many fine details. Our visit was cut short so I didn't get many pictures. I found the fresco on the ceiling amazing, especially with the painted borders and shadows tricking the eye into thinking it is some sort of upside down bas-relief.

Nave of St. Anne's

Ceiling (click to enlarge)

Who was St. Anne?

Saint Anne (also known as Hannah, Anna, and Ann) was the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the mother of Jesus Christ. So she is Jesus's granny (and this post lands nicely on the first Sunday of Advent in 2012, so we are getting ready for Christmas!). All information about her comes from apocryphal literature.  She and her husband Joachim were childless. He presented himself on a feast day to make an offering at the temple. He was rebuked by one of the attendants as being unworthy since childless. He went off to the mountains to pray to God for relief. Anne found out why he hadn't come back and also began to pray for a child. An angel came and told Anne that God heard her tears and she would be mother to a daughter the whole world would revere. The angel made the same promise separately to Joachim. The couple reunited and in less than a year they had a daughter. She is the patroness of women in labor and also the patroness of miners, since Christ is considers as gold and Mary as silver. Read more about her history and legends here.

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