Saint Ann’s Church, Harnai

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Dapoli has 3 old churches, of which the oldest is the Church of Saint Ann’s at Harnai.

There is no proper proof of the origin of this church, but it is said that during the era of the Maratha – Peshwa empire, few Portuguese engineers came from Goa for the repair works of the Suvarnadurga Fort and built this church. Some other stories say that the great Shahu Maharaj decided to build the forts of Gova, Fatehgad and Kanakadurga and he invited Portuguese engineers from Goa who built this church. Previously, this church was called as Firangi Church among the locals, but there are old records of this church named as Saint Ann’s by the Sea Church. Mary was mother to Lord Jesus and Saint Ann’s was the mother of Mary. Hence, this church was named after her.

This church is a worship place for catholic people. The quarters of the priest are just besides the church. Since 20th October 1953, the churches of Ratnagiri were included under the administration of the senior religious leaders of Pune and hence the priests used to visit this church of Harnai for religious work. Later in 1996 a resident priest was appointed, who was given the governing rights of this church. Currently Father Benito Fernandes is the head priest of this church. hristians are among the minority populations in Dapoli. However, Christian tourist traveling to this place surely visit this church.

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