Tours of Jerusalem will often make a stop at the Church of Saint Anne.
The Romanesque style church was built in the 1130’s near the remains of the Pools of Bethesda.
Many singing groups visit the Church of Saint Anne as it has very good acoustics. I have sung there a few times and there are a few videos floating around on the internet of me singing with a group.
What many people do not realize is that the church was built on top of a grotto that according to tradition was the home of Anne and Joachim.
Who are Anne and Joachim? According to early traditions they were the parents of Mary the mother of Jesus. However, they are not mentioned in the Bible.
Of course, this is the Anne that the church was named for.
Above you can see the steps leading down into the grotto.
At the top of the stairs leading down to the grotto there is a sign making the claim that it is the Birthplace of Our Lady. There is also another nearby site that makes the same claim.
There are some interesting works of art in the grotto that show the birth of Mary.
In this picture you can see the remains of the grotto along with a newer wall that is covered with art.
It was interesting to see people prostrating themselves in front of these pictures.
The church building belongs to the French Roman Catholic Church and this can be seen in the way the building is decorated and furnished. Also, in the worship rituals that are performed throughout the day.
I hope to visit there again in the future as it is wonderful to sing in the church building.