St. Anne's Church, Warsaw, Poland

St. Anne's Church was founded for the Franciscans by Duchess Anna Fiodorowna of Masovia in 1454. In 1582 a tower was added to the Church which was later integrated into Warsaw's City Walls.

During the 17th Century the Church was rebuilt on several occasions, 1602, 1634-36 and finally in 1667 after the Swedish and German Armies destroyed it during the 1650 siege of Warsaw.

Jakub Fontana designed the Church's rococo rebuild between 1740 and 1760 and at this point the adjoining bell tower was constructed. This church was then rebuilt once more in the 1780s at the order of King Stanisław August Poniatowski.

During the 1794 Warsaw Uprising Bishop Jozef Kossakowski was hanged in front of the Church to much applause from the inhabitants of Warsaw.

Unusually for a building so close to Warsaw's Old Town, the Church suffered minimal damage during World War II - firstly during a German air raid in 1939 and then later after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising when the roof was caved in.

The view from the top of the bell tower is one of the best vantage points in Warsaw and certainly worth climbing the stairs to see.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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and Shaun Runham
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