The Remaining 2 Churches To Visit In Intramuros

Last Updated: June 9th, 2018

The Remaining 2 Churches To Visit In Intramuros

 

Intramuros, also known as the Walled City, formerly housed the seat of government and was considered as the center of economy and religion in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period. Having been well-kept and restored by the Intramuros Administration since its inception in 1979, this historical icon continues to house the two remaining Spanish-era churches within its walls–the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church.

In its heyday, however, Intramuros was home to at least 8 churches from different religious orders. This includes San Nicolas de Tolentino Church, Third Venerable Order Church, San Francisco Church, Santo Domingo Church, and the San Ignacio Church–all destroyed by during the Battle of Manila in 1945.

 

1. Manila Cathedral

Originally the “Church of Manila”, it was raised into a cathedral in 1579 under the first bishop of Manila Domingo de Salazar. It is perhaps one of the most storied cathedrals in the country with its long history of destruction, restoration, and multiple iterations. From the time it was first constructed using nipa and other light materials until it was built to resemble the Church of Il Gesu in Rome.

The present Manila Cathedral was reconstructed from 1954 to 1958 after it sustained serious damage during the Battle of Manila in 1945. Its present iteration was spearheaded by renowned Filipino architect Fernando H. Ocampo–the man behind some of the famous landmarks in Escolta.

Read in full: The Manila Cathedral: 15 Highlights of Its History of Destruction, Restoration, And How It Ended

 

Manila Cathedral History

The Manila Cathedral

 

Manila Cathedral History

The dome of the Manila Cathedral as seen from General Luna Street in Intramuros

 

Manila Cathedral History

The nave of the Manila Cathedral

 

Manila Cathedral History

The historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in the entrance of the church

 

2. San Agustin Church

First built in 1571 using light materials, San Agustin Church was the first place of worship built by the Spaniards in the island of Luzon. It was later rebuilt using stone and is now considered as the oldest stone church in the country.

Unknown to many, the church houses the remains of early Spanish conquistadores–Miguel López de Legazpi, Guido de Lavezaris, Juan de Salcedo and Martín de Goiti. In 1920, the remains of renowned Filipino painter and political activist, Juan Luna was transferred to the the church after it were exhumed in Hong Kong.

San Agustin Church was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 along with three other Spanish-era Baroque churches in the country.

Read in full: San Agustin Church: Manila’s Only UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

San Agustin Church Unesco History

One of the challenges is taking a good photo of the church without cars blocking the view

 

San Agustin Church Unesco History

The bride ready to walk down the aisle

 

San Agustin Church Unesco History

The back of the church as seen from General Luna Street

 

San Agustin Church Unesco History

The historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines

 

San Agustin Church Unesco History

A couple driving past the side entrance

 

 

The Manila Project

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