San Agustin Church (Manila)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
San Agustin Church
Immaculate Conception Parish Church of San Agustin
Shrine of Our Lady of Consolacion y Correa
Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepción de María de San Agustín
Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Consolación y Correa
Ph-mm-manila-intramuros-san agustin church (2014).JPG
San Agustin Church is located in Metro Manila
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church
Location in Metro Manila
14°35′20.1″N 120°58′31.2″E / 14.588917°N 120.975333°E / 14.588917; 120.975333Coordinates: 14°35′20.1″N 120°58′31.2″E / 14.588917°N 120.975333°E / 14.588917; 120.975333
Location Intramuros, Manila
Country Philippines
Denomination Roman Catholic
Website San Agustin Church
Former name(s) Iglesia de San Pablo de Manila
Founded 1720
Dedication St. Augustine
Consecrated 1607
Functional status Active
Heritage designation World Heritage Site
Designated 1993
Architect(s) Juan Macías
Style Baroque
Groundbreaking 1586
Completed January 19,1607
Length 67.15 m (220.3 ft)
Width 24.93 m (81.8 ft)
Number of spires 1 (a second bell tower was destroyed in 1880)
Materials Adobe stones
Archdiocese Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila
Province Manila
Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D., S.Th.D
Priest(s) Rev. Fr. Arnold C. Sta. Maria, OSA
San Agustin Church
FvfIntramuros2720 24.JPG
San Agustin Church
Sta. Maria Church, Ilocos Sur.jpg
Paoay Church Ilocos Norte.jpg
Allan Jay Quesada- DSC 1354 Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva or Miag-ao Church, Ilo-ilo.JPG
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name Baroque Churches of the Philippines
Location Intramuros, Philippines Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates 14°35′20″N 120°58′31″E / 14.58886°N 120.97535°E / 14.58886; 120.97535
Criteria Cultural: ii, iv
Reference 677
Inscription 1993 (17th Session)
San Agustin Church (Manila) is located in Philippines
San Agustin Church (Manila)
Location of San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church (Spanish: Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción de María de San Agustín) is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila.

In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines.[1] It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.[2]


The present structure is actually the third Augustinian church erected on the site. Also The San Agustin Church is located in General Luna St, Manila, Metro Manila.[3] The first San Agustin Church was the first religious structure constructed by the Spaniards on the island of Luzon.[4] Made of bamboo and nipa, it was completed in 1571, but destroyed by fire in December 1574 during the attempted invasion of Manila by the forces of Limahong.[5][6] A second wooden structure built on the same site[6] was destroyed in February 1583, by a fire that started when a candle ignited drapery on the funeral bier during services for Spanish Governor-General Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa.[5]

The Augustinians decided to rebuild the church using stone, and to construct an adjacent monastery. Construction began in 1586, based on a design by Juan Macías.[4][6] The structure was built using hewn adobe stones quarried from Meycauayan, Binangonan and San Mateo, Rizal.[2] The work proceeded slowly due to the lack of funds and materials, as well as the relative scarcity of stone artisans.[6] The monastery was operational by 1604, and the church was formally declared complete on 19 January 1607, and named St. Paul of Manila.[6] Macías, who had died before the completion of the church, was officially acknowledged by the Augustinians as the builder of the edifice.[7]

San Agustin Church was looted by the British forces who occupied Manila in 1762 during the Seven Years' War.[8] In 1854, the church was renovated under the supervision of architect Luciano Oliver.[4] On 3 June 1863, the strongest earthquake at that time, hit Manila leaving widespread destruction to the city with San Agustin Church, the only public building left undamaged.[9] A series of strong earthquakes struck Manila again on 18–20 July 1880. This time, the tremors left a large crack in the east bell tower.[10] The crack was eventually repaired, but the left tower was permanently removed with only the base remaining today.[11] The church withstood the other major earthquakes that struck Manila before in 1645, 1699, 1754, 1796, 1825, 1852, 1863 and 1880 and served as a hospital for several of those injured during the earthquake in 1863.[12]

On 18 August 1898, the church was the site where Spanish Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes prepared the terms for the surrender of Manila to the United States of America following the Spanish–American War.[3][8]

During the Japanese occupation of World War II, San Agustin Church became a concentration camp.[3] In the final days of the Battle of Manila, hundreds of Intramuros residents and clergy were held hostage in the church by Japanese soldiers with many hostages killed during the three-week-long battle.[3] The church itself was the sole survivor of the seven churches of Intramuros to survive the leveling by combined American and Filipino ground forces in May 1945.[3] While the church sustained damage to its roof, the adjacent monastery was completely destroyed. In the 1970s it was rebuilt as a museum under the design of architect Angel Nakpil.[2][8] The church was renovated in 2013, replacing its colorful facade with a mature stone-colored one.[citation needed]


Panoramic of the interior of San Agustin Church.

The San Agustin Church is patterned after some of the magnificent temples built by the Augustinians in Mexico. The present edifice was built in 1587, and completed, together with the monastery, in 1604. The atmosphere is medieval since "both church and monastery symbolize the majesty and equilibrium of a Spanish golden era."[according to whom?]

The massive structure of the church is highlighted by the symmetry and splendor of the interiors (painted by two Italians who succeeded in producing trompe l'oeil), the profile of the mouldings, rosettes and sunken panels which appear as three-dimensional carvings, a baroque pulpit with the native pineapple as a motif, the grand pipe organ, the antechoir with a 16th-century crucifix, the choir seats carved in molave with ivory inlays of the 17th century and the set of 16 huge and beautiful chandeliers from Paris.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Baroque Churches of the Philippines". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved on 2012-01-20.
  2. ^ a b c Layug, p. 84
  3. ^ a b c d e Layug, p. 83
  4. ^ a b c Heritage Conservation Society. "San Agustin Church (Intramuros, Manila)". Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  5. ^ a b Torres, p. 62
  6. ^ a b c d e Aluit, p. 40
  7. ^ Aluit, p. 41
  8. ^ a b c Torres, p. 63
  9. ^ Fernandez, p. 216
  10. ^ Hannaford, p. 21
  11. ^ Laya and Gatbonton, p.102.
  12. ^ Olbés, p.11.
  13. ^ de la Torre, Visitacion (1981). Landmarks of Manila: 1571–1930. Makati: Filipinas Foundation, Inc. pp. 63–64. 
  • Layug, Benjamin Locsin (2007). A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches. Pasig City, Philippines: New Day Publishers. pp. 39–41. ISBN 971-8521-10-0. 
  • Aluit, Alfonso (1994). By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February – 3 March 1945. Philippines: National Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. 83–85. ISBN 971-8521-10-0. 
  • Torres, Jose Victor Z. (2005). Ciudad Murada: A Walk Through Historic Intramuros. Manila: Intramuros Administration & Vibal Publishing House, Inc. pp. 62–63. ISBN 971-07-2276-X. 
  • Olbés, Rene (2000). The Philippines:A Century Hence. Makati City, Philippines: Rene Olbés and Associates. pp. 10–11. ISBN 971-92288-0-6. 
  • Hannaford, Adjutant E. (1899). History and of our Philippine Wonderland. Springfield, Ohio: The Crowell & Kirkpatrick Co. p. 21. 
  • Fernandez, Leandro H. (1919). A Brief History of the Philippines. Boston: Ginn and Company. p. 216. 
  • Laya, Jaime; Gatbonton, Esperanza (1983). Intramuros of Memory. Manila: Ministry of Human Settlements, Intramuros Administration. p. 102. 

External links[edit]