UNESCO – Baroque Churches of the Philippines
The Baroque Churches of Phlippines is the official designation of 1. Church of San Agustin in Manila, 2. Church of La Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, 3. Church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, 4. Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo, when the four spanish era churches were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993. The unique design of these four churches reflects the integration of Spanish and Latin American architecture to indigenous architecture of the Philippines, including a fusion with Chinese style.
”These were men of God, not architects, who could only rely on memories of Baroque churches seen in Spain or Latin America when giving instructions to build Philippine churches. Thus, intentionally, these friar-builders and their native craftsmen reinterpreted the European Baroque to establish a peripheral Baroque style, deceptively Western in appearance
but totally Philippine in spirit and context.” In reference to the Filipino and Chinese craftsmen, architects and priests who built the church.
Built during time of chaos and war, these churches were not only designed to withstand attacks during revolts and rebellions, they are also made to withstand tremendous earthquakes since Philippines is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire. Powerful buttresses and foundations gave the churches the support they needed to survive earthquakes intact as well as a fortress image. The unique architectural style became known as Earthquake Baroque.
Church of San Agustin, in Manila
Photo by Erick Photomurals
Church of La Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, in Santa Maria Ilocos Sur
Photo by Karmacamilleeon
Church of San Agustin, in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Photo by NathanielChoi
Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, in Miag-ao, Iloilo
Photo by Serdenia Arlon
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