Church of St. Anne – the Birthplace of Mary – The Jerusalem Tour Guide

One of the highlights of any Jerusalem tour must be the Church of St. Anne, one of longest preserved 12th century Crusader churches. Known to have been built over the home of Anne and Joachim, Jesus’ maternal grandparents, it is also known as the birthplace of the infamous Virgin Mary. Romanesque features and architectural design are descriptive of its time and those that visit find tranquility amidst the bustling streets and alleyways of the Muslim Quarter.

Located just north of the Temple Mount, it is very close to the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus is known to have healed a paralytic man. Here you can view the ruins of a Roman Temple and the remains of a Byzantine church. The Church of St. Anne itself rests in a courtyard and is surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers providing the tranquil atmosphere that so many enjoy. Its strong exterior gives it a fortress like appearance but its in its simplicity that dignity is revealed.

Visitors find its space to be a peaceful place for prayer and contemplation where distraction is limited. However, it is well known for its reverberating walls of instrumental echos as if instruments themselves are being played. St. Annes acoustics were originally designed for Gregorian chant. Now, pilgrim groups come and sing in the church and even tourists are welcome to sing religious harmonies; playing the acoustics as if they are a musical instrument to be played by the human voice. If St. Annes Church is one your Jerusalem tour stops, you are sure to experience its ambience as well as marvel at its architectural design.

Pastor Mark Hinman’s Group experiencing the acoustics on a recent Israel group tour.