St. Anne’s Church, Jerusalem, Israel
The Church of St Anne is the best-preserved Crusader church in Jerusalem. It marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim, and the birthplace of the Virgin Mary.
Located just north of the Temple Mount, about 50 metres inside St Stephen’s or Lions’ Gate, the church stands in a courtyard with trees, shrubs and flowers. Its tranquility contrasts with the bustling streets and alleys of the Muslim Quarter.
Next to the church is the large excavation area of the Pools of Bethesda, where Christ healed a sick man (John 5:2-9).
The New Testament says nothing about the birthplace of Mary. However, an ancient tradition, recorded in the apocryphal Gospel of James which dates from around AD 150, places the house of her parents, Anne and Joachim, close to the Temple area.
A church built around 450 on the site of St Anne’s was dedicated to “Mary where she was born”. Strong lines and thick walls give St Anne’s a fortress-like appearance
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