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. :)
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.
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.