Church of Saint Andrew, Acre

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St. Andrew's Church
כנסיית אנדראס הקדוש
St Andrews Church (Acre)1.jpg
The Church in 1682
LocationAcre
Country Israel
DenominationCatholic (Greek-Catholic Eastern Rite)


St Andrew's Church is a Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church, built in 1765, and located in the old city of Acre, at Philippe Auguste street, north of the Templars tunnel, in modern day Israel. It is named after one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The church was built on the remains of a Crusader church. The church is still used today and is known for its beautiful interior, icons, and ornate decoration.

History[edit]

St. Andrew's Church (Hebrew: כנסיית אנדראס הקדושLatin: Ecclesia Sancti Andreae)[1] was built in 1765 on the ruins of the Crusader church that was destroyed in 1261.[2] It belongs to the Catholic Church and follows the Greek-Catholic Eastern Rite in full communion with the Pope in Rome. Thanks to its location overlooking the Mediterranean, the church was easily visible for the Crusaders.

The Crusaders of the Templars order settled in Acre in the 12th century, after the fall of Jerusalem, and built a fortress on the south-west corner of the old city of Acre. Adjacent to their palace (Templum) they built the Church of Santa Anna, named after the Mother of the Virgin Mary. The 12th-century church was rebuilt and enlarged in the 13th century as a grand Gothic Cathedral. The structure of the two-story Crusader church survived and stone of the original church was used in the construction of the current building. The top floor of the original Crusader church remains and is still in ruins. In 1291, the Mamlukes destroyed the city, including most of the Crusaders' structures, but the battered two-story shell and arched halls remained standing until the 18th century.[3]

The Greek Catholic church (Melkites) split from the Greek Orthodox church in 1724. In 1765, the church was rebuilt over the ruins of the medieval church. A sign near above the door near the entrance to the church shows the year of 1802, when the Greek Catholic Archbishopric was founded at the church. It later moved to Haifa.[4]

Modern times[edit]

The church of St. Andrew is open to the public, and serves the Greek Catholic Melkite community. On the west side of the church, facing the sea, is a small courtyard. Embedded into the wall is a segment of a head of an ancient statue, possibly one of John the Baptist, which belonged to the older Crusader church. The modern church has an ornate Templon, decorated with icons and paintings, which separates the nave and the altar, or sanctuary. The icons are of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Apostles, John the Baptist, Saints and the prophet Elijah. The names above each icon are written in Arabic, and were crafted in Syria.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Old Acre - San Andreas Church". www.akko.org.il. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  2. ^ "The Churches of Acre - Bein Harim Tours - Blog". Bein Harim Tours - Blog. 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  3. ^ "Acre: St. Andrews Church". www.biblewalks.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  4. ^ Folda, Jaroslav (2005-09-05). Crusader Art in the Holy Land, From the Third Crusade to the Fall of Acre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521835831.
  5. ^ "Acre: St. Andrews Church". www.biblewalks.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.

Coordinates: 32°55′14″N 35°04′02″E / 32.9206°N 35.0672°E / 32.9206; 35.0672