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main destination guide sights st. anne's church


St. Anne's Church

    Vilnius is associated with numerous cathedrals and churches, representing practically all the known architectural styles. No other city in the Eastern Europe can boast of such a number of unique churches, situated on quite a small territory. But St. Anne's Church stands out from the variety of city's sacral building. It is considered to be the masterpiece of late Lithuanian gothic. The small church is situated in front of the Bernardine Church and forms with it a single architectural ensemble. The dominant of the ensemble is the elaborate principal facade of St. Anne's Church that has become a sort of visiting card for Vilnius.
    The wooden church was constructed on this spot at the beginning of the 14th century. The first historical reference to St. Anne's Church dates back to 1394. In 1495-1500 the brick church erected by the Franciscans replaced the wooden one. The church took shape of its present image only after reconstruction in 1582. For the construction of the principal facade bricks of thirty three kinds were used. Arches of all types, numerous phials, ingenious brick patterns, elegant spires crowned with metal crosses create the unforgettable sight. The interior of the church is not equal its splendor exterior. Three baroque altars were set up in the middle of the 18th century. In the second half of the 19th century, an adjacent belfry in the neo-gothic style, designed by Nikolaj Chagin, was built. In the second half of the 20th century, the church was restored and the facade was reinforced with metal strings. At the same time the interior was enriched by the new choir loft and organ.
    This miniature church amazes the visitors with the courage and ingenuity of the masters who erected it. There is a legend that Napoleon was so enchanted by its beauty that he exclaimed that he would like to place it on the palm and move to Paris. However, in fact, he used the church for the needs of the French cavalry.

Address: Maironio St., 10