Saturday, January 27, 2007

St. Anne's Sanctuary, Bukit Mertajam

St. Anne's Church is located in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, somewhere along Kulim Road. every year, around the 3rd to 4th week of the month of july, thousands of pilgrims will come here to celebrate the Feast of St. Anne, which falls on 26th of july, and to thank St. Anne for prayers answered and petitions granted.

if you are wondering who is St. Anne, she is the grandmother of Christ, a.k.a. the mother of Virgin Mary.

the present main church's dedication took place on 26th july 2002 to coincide with the feast of st. anne. it has a minangkabau-styled multi-tier roof, adding a touch of malaysian to the design.

if you view the main church from the air, you'll notice that the church is built in the shape of a cross.

an angel statue holding the holy water - there are pairs of these flanking the entrances to the main church.

classical lighting design with a touch of modernity: electrical bulb inside.

inside the main church: on normal days, the main church is locked up - this photo is taken thru the metal grills. if you look carefully, there are red colored decorations around due to the coming chinese new year celebration.

the bell tower: notice that pieces of tiles are missing from parts of the tower.

above the front, rear, left, and right entrances to the main church, there are colorful tile arts depicting various biblical scenes. below are three of them - i forgot to take a photo of the one at the right-side entrance :p.

a life-sized angel statue, with 2 of them guarding the main entrance to the church:

in between the new and old church buildings, one can find a wall-like structure with 12 chambers, each with a faucet in it. from here, you'll be able to get St. Anne's Water. there are signs prohibiting the act of washing one's hands and feet using the water there, but i still saw a few touristy-looking people doing just that.

the old church is situated just a few meter from the new church, sitting majestically atop a higher ground.

the stained glass inside the old church:

behind the old church building is a small hill. there are stairs for climbing up the hill. sign boards prohibiting people from placing candles along the stairs can be seen everywhere. It is just a short climb up the hill, and there are a few statues and crosses on the hill. there were not much view from the top of the hill - for one, the hill is very low anyway. the first chapel was built on the top of this hill, before the present old church was built - but it is no longer there.

the ten commandments, painted on the surface of a large rock:

There are 15 life-sized Stations of the Cross around the church area. They cost quite a huge sum of money, all donated by the people who came here to pray. Photos of these will be in another post.

st. anne's church is open to the public daily until 7pm, after which the gates will be closed.

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