Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Philippines - Santa Maria Church, Santa Maria

Santa Maria Church, one of the four Baroque Earthquake churches listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about an hour away from Vigan and was the first place I went to on my second last day. Like most of the churches in Philippines, Santa Maria Church is a massive construction built on top of a hill surrounded by walls. It has the feel of a fortress instead of being a religious site, setting it apart from the rest of the heritage churches.

Santa Maria Church

The massive buttresses and thick walls are its unique features. These similar attributions can be found in most of the churches here as well as the other three historic churches in the list due to the position of the country in the Ring of Fire. Buttresses and thick walls help support the buildings from collapsing during earthquakes.

Closer look at the church

There is little carvings on the facade, focusing more on the symmetrical beauty. The main ingredient used in the construction was red bricks, allowing the church to exude a rustic charm. The bell tower, another red brick building, was built at a distance from the main site, another precaution step.

Just like its facade, the interior of Santa Maria Church is simple. There is little grand paintings and carvings that decorate the walls. The beautiful altar is surrounded with figurines of Christianity.

Interior of the church

Up close

This was the second out of four churches listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site that I had visited. Both Paoay Church and Santa Maria Church have their own charms and uniqueness and both warrant a visit. What I liked most about these two heritage churches is that they are still local churches first and foremost.

Christian figurines in the church

Do drop by for a visit when you are in Vigan.


No comments:

Post a Comment