Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Annakirche (Vienna)

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Annagasse 3b

Tel. 512 4797

Subway: Stephansplatz

Open: 7am- 7pm daily

 

 

 

Description of Annakirche

Adress: Kärntner Straße 37

 

Annakirche is a church dedicated to Saint Anna. It was constructed in 1629- 1634 on a site of a medieval chapel that dates back to 1320. Ceilings are covered by somewhat faded frescoes of Daniel Gran. It is considered one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in the city. Next to the church is the St. Annahof, a well-known residential building. After the St. Anna Church in 1750 the Annagasse street was named, which was formerly Pippingerstraße (Philip's street). This street was first documented in 1290.

 

 

 

 

 

In 1415 Elisabeth Wartenauer bought the land where small buildings stood on. With a foundation in 1418 a pilgrim house was built there and on the Annagasse 3a a pilgrims' hospital was built. A century later, in Annagasse 3b, the Annakirche was built as a late Gothic four-aisled hall church with buttresses and a ridge above the west gable and inaugurated in 1518. In 1531, the buildings were handed over to the Order of Clarissas, as a substitute for their task of the monastery of St. Clara on Albertinaplatz. In 1582, the buildings of Rudolf II were handed over to the Jesuits, who built a new Jesuit novitiate from 1627 to 1629 on the Kärntner Straße 37 corner of Annagasse 3 and 3a and Johannesgasse 4 and 4a. From 1629 to 1633, an early baroque reconstruction of the Annakirche took place, whereby the Gothic choir, the roof ridge and the vaults were broken off, and the hall was extended by two yokes in the building of the novitiate to the west. In addition, chapel installations between the buttresses, a new vaulting of the hall construction and the erection of a church tower in the east of the choir with a residential building in the lower floors. On November 20, 1633, the enlarged church was inaugurated in the presence of Emperor Ferdinand II.

In 1694 Leopold I founded a brotherhood of St. Anna, which met in the hall church as an annex in 1696. A high-Baroque chapel of St. Franz Xaver was built, which was established in 1709, and is now named Annakapelle. In 1716, under the direction of Christoph Tausch SJ (1673-1731), the whole church was refitted. On June 25, 1747 Annakirche burned from a lightning hitting the tower and the roof of the church. The vaults were preserved, the roof was restored, and so it was in the same year on July 26, the Annafest celebrated in the presence of Empress Maria Theresa in the church. In 1748, the church tower was rebuilt and in 1751 the smoke-blackened church interior was renovated, with Le Grand, as Daniel Gran was then called, creating the late-Baroque ceiling frescoes and the high altarpiece. In 1840 Grans frescoes were renewed by Franz Geyling in darker colors.

In 1773 the Jesuit order was abolished. The Annakirche was now cared for by secular clergymen and from 1783 on, masses were held in French. In 1774, the novitiate was rededicated to a school building, and was the seat of the Academy of Fine Arts from 1786 to 1876.  In 1887, again, the entire building complex of St. Annhof was demolished including the two yokes of the former extension of Annakirche. The new building has since then various event and business premises.

In 1897, the Order of the Oblates of St. Franz von Sales took over the services in the Annakirche and 1906, the Oblates got the property rights.