7 Most Historic Churches in the Philippines
with their beauty and grandeur still preserved despite all the modernization happening over the past few decades. These churches were constructed during the Spanish colonization that lasted for more than 300 years. Below are 7 of these well-preserved churches that are not only limited to religious purposes but also as historical and tourist attractions.
Miag-ao Church, Iloilo
Located in Miag-ao, Iloilo is the famous Miag-ao Fortress Church, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It was built in the 1700’s by a group of Augustinian missionaries and is one of the oldest Baroque churches in the country - it's more than 200 years old! The main attraction of this church is its architectural beauty that showcases its Spanish roots.
San Juan Church, Metro Manila
In 1602, Dominicans constructed the San Juan Church which was later ruined in 1639 in the Chinese Revolt. By 1641, it was reconstructed but later on claimed by fire in 1763. This church was constructed, destroyed, and rebuilt for a period of time until in 1774 where it was finally reestablished. It is located in San Juan City and serves as another historical attraction for its beauty and longevity despite the numerous times it was damaged.
Tabaco Church, Albay
Another nationally declared landmark is the Tabaco Church in Tabaco, Albay. It was constructed by the Franciscans in 1500s with San Juan Bautista as its patron saint. The ancient look of the church was achieved using dark volcanic tuff. The bell tower of Tabaco Church sets it apart from simple churches because of its unique carvings and railings.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Cebu City
In the heart of Cebu City is the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral which is also an old church. Catholicism came first in Cebu and this church was a witness to many Cebuano natives being converted to Catholicism. This was destroyed during World War II but was later on rebuilt in 1950s. A mausoleum was added in 1982 for the bishops and clergy of Cebu province.
Sta. Monica Church, Ilocos Norte
Built in 1779, Sta. Monica Parish Church boasts of its red bricks in neo-classical design. Originally named as San Miguel Church, this church is considered the biggest amongst other churches in Ilocos Norte. An earthquake in 1983 damaged majority of its frontage and destroyed the bell tower. Just a bit of trivia, construction of this church took a decade!
Binondo Church, Manila
Next to Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz is the old church of Binondo, Manila – the Binondo Church or the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. It was founded by the Dominican Priests as a place to convert the Chinese living in Binondo. San Lorenzo Ruiz, a half Chinese and half Filipino practically grew up in this church before he was executed in Japan and became the first Filipino saint.
Baclayon Church, Bohol
The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception or Baclayon Church is located in Baclayon, Bohol. The most interesting fact of this church is its walls. Baclayon Church is in fact made from corals and is also one of the oldest in the Philippines. These corralled walls stuck on for almost 300 years.
These are just some of the cathedrals in the Philippines you can visit during your next vacation. Be amazed by the grandeur and architectural beauty of these wonderful and historic churches!