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The stone mason Leonhard

This photo shows a fish, the house-sign of a former Düren pub, bearing the caption "Zum Goldenen Stör" (= "The Golden Sturgeon"). Here the St. Anne’s relic was taken from the emissaries of St. Stephen’s church in Mainz by Düren countrywomen

This photo shows a fish, the house-sign of a former Düren pub, bearing the caption "Zum Goldenen Stör" (= "The Golden Sturgeon”). Here the St. Anne’s relic was taken from the em-issaries of St. Stephen’s church in Mainz by Düren countrywomen.

The origins of Annakirmes lie with the local worship of St. Anne, mother of St. Mary in the middle ages. In 1501 the stone mason Leonhard of Kornelimünster had stolen "St. Anne’s head" in Mainz, taken it to Düren and given it to the Franciscan monks there.
Emissaries of St. Stephen’s church in Mainz had brought the relic back into their possession but were made to give it back by Düren countrywomen in the pub "Zum Goldenen Stör".


For several years a legal dispute was led between Düren and Mainz that was thus resolved by pope Julius II.: "The St. Anne’s head is to remain in Düren from now on." In the meantime the whereabouts of the relic had become public and pilgrims were coming to town from all over. Every year the worship of St. Anne culminated on 26 July, the day of St. Anne.
And where believers go on pilgrimages also traders are attracted. They put up their booths for a day to peddle their wares. Over the centuries the Annenmarkt (= St. Anne’s market) devel-oped into a fair lasting nine days: The Annakirmes, always starting on the Saturday following 26 July. If that day is on a weekend itself, the fair starts on the Saturday of that weekend.
Besides the Annakirmes the Annaoktav (feast of St. Anne lasting eight days) organized by the parish of the Annakirche (= St. Anne’s church) takes place simultaneously. Just like 500 years ago St. Anne’s relic contained in a silver bust is shown to the parishioners. This religious week always has a certain motto and every day services are held in church.

In the year 2001 the day that stone mason Leonhard brought the St. Anne’s head to Düren had its 500th anniversary. together with St. Anne’s parish the town of  Düren celebrated various events throughout the year. For the main event in June 2001 a medieval market and the reen-actment of emperor Charles V. coming to town portrayed with the help of numerous ama-teurs, more than 60,000 visitors found their way to Düren. The great cooperation in develop-ing and experiencing feast and celebration of this event of utmost importance in the history of Düren soon gave birth to the plan to organize such a medieval market every three years. Thus the Annamarkt was repeated successfully in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

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