BRUGES (Brugge)
 

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St.-Anna's church

The part of Bruges where the Saint-Anna's church stands, used to be a part of the parish of Sint-Kruis, now a community located outside the town walls.    When the second town walls were erected, Sint-Anna became physically separated from its mother parish.  At the end of the 15th century, the first church was built here, consecrated in 1497.  Despite the fact that there was a church here, it would last until 1668 before Sint-Anna became an independent parish.  During the iconoclastic fury at the end of the 16th century, the first church was completely destroyed.

In its present state, the church dates back to the early 17th century, when it was reconstructed.  Although, the exterior is quite sober, the interior is not.  Between 1794 and 1802, during the French occupation, a lot of the silverwork was sold to be able to pay the imposed taxes.  Lateron, the church itself was confiscated with the intention to sell it and have it torn down.  The interior was sold publically but was mainly bought up by the parishioners themselves and returned to the church once the French occupation was finished.  The building itself escaped destruction thanks to the Religious Peace Treaty of 1802 (Napoleon - Pius VII). 

Particular for this church is that Guido Gezelle, a famous Belgian 19th century priest and poet, was baptised here and performed his first mass in this church.  The interior is predominantly baroque. 

Location: Sint-Annaplein
 


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