The decorative brick towers, rose windows and spires of this flamboyant late-Gothic church were finished in 1501, and today it is one of Old Town’s best-loved landmarks.
The church was constructed on the site of an earlier wooden church first mentioned in 1394. St Anne's was designed by either Polish architect Michael Enkinger, who built a church of the same name in Warsaw, or the Bohemian Benedikt Rejt, who had a hand in building Prague Castle. Its ornate multi-patterned façade bristles with arcades, arches, flying buttresses and gargoyles.
Inside, the church’s single nave is surprisingly austere, with high vaulted ceilings and plain walls with little adornment except carved wooden pews and lecterns. Much of the original stained glass was destroyed by Napoleon’s troops when they were stationed here in 1812, despite the apocryphal tale that he apparently loved the church so much he wanted to "carry it home in the palm of his hand."
The freestanding, clumsy Neo-Gothic bell tower to the right of the main entrance to St Anne’s was an afterthought added in 1873; the church close by is St Francis and St Bernadine; together the three buildings comprise the Bernadine Priory.
St Anne's Church is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the summer months (May through September) and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the rest of the year. Mass takes place Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m., and twice on Sunday at both 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Admission is free.