Vilnius

St. Anne's Church

One of the city’s most famous landmarks, St. Anne’s has a history that starts with the alleged construction in the 14th century of a wooden house of worship on this spot in honour of Ona, the wife of Vytautas the Great. The current Gothic masterpiece is believed to have been built between 1495 and 1500 to a design by the Bohemian architect Benedikt Rejt (1453-1534), most famous for designing parts of Prague Castle. Unlike other historical churches in Vilnius, St. Anne’s has managed to escape the ravages of time almost unscathed and is arguably the least changed of them all. Composed of 33 different styles of brick assembled into a delicate and intricate whole, the effect is simply quite stunning. Visiting in 1812, Napoleon said that he wanted to take the building back to Paris on the palm of his hand.

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