Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Treasures of San Agustin Church

Treasures of San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Philippines

When you visit San Agustin Church, you can proudly say that you visited the oldest stone church still standing in the Philippines. The construction of this church was started in 1586 and was completed in 1607. The church is the only one out of the seven churches within the Intramuros that remained standing after World War II. And you can boastfully declare right after your visit that you have seen one of the four baroque churches in the country designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. :)

interior of the church

The outer facade of the church is very simple but don't forget to take a closer look at the ornately designed wooden carved door at the entrance of the church. Carved in the main door are the images of the Order of St. Augustine's founder Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica as well as the emblems of the Augustinian Order. The bell tower on the left side of the church was destroyed by an earthquake and the bell that used to hang on it is now displayed at the adjacent San Agustin museum.

But its simplicity on the outside belies the beauty that can be seen inside the church. The inside of the church is in the shape of a cross. It has a vaulted ceiling and a painted dome, done by Italian artists Alberoni and Dibella. On its ceiling hang XIXth century old chandeliers . Within the church are 14 chapels and tombstones on the flooring.

one of the chapels within the church

Don't forget to visit the tomb of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the founder of Manila at the side of the altar.

the chapel that houses the remains of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi

tomb of Manila founder, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi

Displayed at the choir loft are 68 pieces of magnificent carved molave choir seats with fine inlays, the majestic XVIIIth Century Pipe Organ and a big lectern with cantorals.

the lectern with the cantoral and the intricately painted dome of the church

intricately carved molave choir seats

the huge pipe organ

If ever you're in Intramuros don't forget to drop by San Agustin Church. :) San Agustin Church is at the corner of Juan Luna and Real Streets in Intramuros, Manila.


Spinocerebellar said...

WOW!! Nice pics collection i like it and its lovable lifetime.
Thank you for post.

Gracie said...

Ang ganda naman dito sis. I haven't seen this church yet.

Nice to see you smiling. Miss you!


I Love-Hate America by Bing said...

That's a great architectural structure...where is San Agustin church?

joy said...

hi bing! san agustin church is in intramuros, manila. it is at the corner at of juan luna and real streets. the street at the side of the manila cathedral is juan luna street. san agustin church is just a few steps from the manila cathedral.

Mel Cole said...

Wow, what a beautiful church. So gothic! I love seeing church pictures :) Hope they will still preserve that there in Phil.


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