St Anne's Church in the city centre

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1052 Budapest, Szervita square 6.

The church on Szervita Square is one of the most beautiful and richly gilded churches in Budapest. The single-towered, single-naved building was originally an infirmary in the Middle Ages, then a mosque during the Turkish rule. In its place the Servites built the church and monastery, which were completed by 1732.

The memory of the church builders is now preserved in the name of the square and on the relief above the entrance: commemorates the seven young Florentines who founded the order, worshipping the Virgin Mary.

In 1867, the exterior of the church was remodelled, the tower was raised by 12 metres and the building was given its present eclectic façade, designed by Joseph Diescher. The monastery and its adjoining tenement house were severely damaged by the bombing of World War II, and a central post office palace was built in its place.

The church also suffered the siege and after several renovations it was restored to its present form in 2022.

The church's furnishings date from the mid-1700s, and the high altar with its huge columns, vases and angels flying in a crown of shining rays was transported from Vienna on a ship in 1741. The large altarpiece depicts St Anne, the patron saint of the church, with the Virgin Mary and St Joachim.

The gilded carved wooden sculptures next to the high altar are particularly valuable: King St Stephen, King St Ladislaus, St John the Baptist and St Joseph.

The elaborate pulpit with the four evangelists is remarkable: with the gilded figures of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The altar next to the pulpit depicts the seven holy founders of the Order with the Virgin Mary, and above them St Joseph with the child Jesus. On the altar, in an ornate reliquary, are the relics of the holy founders.

A special feature of the central altar is St Peregrine, the patron saint of the to those who suffer with foot or leg ailments and depicted in an armchair with his feet bandaged.

Another interesting feature of the church is the unique fresco above the organ loft, which depicts King Stephen offering the Holy Crown to the Virgin Mary.

The organ, which still stands in the choir loft, was made in 1891 by the Mauracher organ-building factory in Salzburg, and was expanded in 1951 by the Rieger Brothers Organ Building Factory. The organ is housed in an ornate Baroque organ case, and the parapet of the choir loft has a gilded grille. The interesting feature is that the smallest organ pipes are built into the balustrade.

Did you know?

A special feature of the church is the Seven Stations of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary, depicting the seven sorrows of Virgin Mary's life: Virgin Mary listening with faith to Simeon's prophecy, Virgin Mary fleeing to Egypt with Jesus and Joseph, Virgin Mary searching for Jesus who remained in Jerusalem, Virgin Mary meeting Jesus carrying the cross, Virgin Mary standing under the cross of her Son, Virgin Mary receiving Jesus, taken down from the cross, into her lap, Virgin Mary accompanying Jesus' body to the tomb with pain in her heart.

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