Catholic church of St. Anne in Vilnius
Lithuania, Vilnius

Catholic church of St. Anne is considered to be one of the most beautiful and famous temples of Vilnius. Elegant, swift, light and, at the same time, a majestic church is a masterpiece of late Gothic. The exact date of construction is unknown, the first mention of the church dates back to 1501. The opinions of historians about the time of construction and the purpose of the temple were divided, but, most likely, it was erected in 1495 - 1500. In the question of who was the architect of the building, the opinions of scientists also radically diverge. Some historical documents mention the architect Michael Enkinger, who in 1492 was called from Gdansk to Vilnius by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander Jagiellon, allegedly for the construction of the Church of St. Anne. According to another version, the temple was built by the architect Benedict Reith in the form in which it has survived to this day. The church building is small, elongated, rectangular in shape, 22 meters long and 10 meters wide. The side walls are thin, with four pairs of lancet windows. Between the windows, on the inside and outside, pillars protrude. They serve as buttresses, bearing the weight of the arches. The main facade is considered "unparalleled not only in Lithuanian, but also in all of Eastern European brick Gothic architecture." It is distinguished by the diversity and decorativeness of lines and shapes. Napoleon Bonaparte was delighted with the beauty of the church and expressed regret that the temple cannot be moved to Paris. For the construction of the church was used yellow shaped brick of thirty-three different shapes. The interior of the church consists of one nave, separated from the presbytery by a high Gothic arch. In the northern part of the building there is a sacristy and a gallery connecting the Church of St. Anne and the Bernardine Church. On the right is the bell tower, built in 1873 in the neo-Gothic style, designed by architect Chagin. During its existence, the Church of St. Anne repeatedly suffered from fires and destruction, was restored and restored several times. It should be noted that the church was not closed neither during the Second World War, nor after. It is one of the most famous sights of Vilnius, shrouded in many legends and mysterious stories.

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