My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108
Religious architecture captivates me and always takes my breath away everytime I visit churches. Every column, the bricks used, the history, painted glass, artwork all plays a part in the grand orchestra which makes up the design of the cathedral. Located at Intramuros, Manila built in 1851 this cathedral has been destroyed numerous times and is on it's eighth design.
After hours of shooting I would just feel that my back is beginning to ache but still I go on until I have covered everything. Although that is not always the case it is always best when the church is empty as you won't be disturbing anyone. You could move around easily and explore your creativity.
The cathedral has gone thru a lot of major reconstructions and renovations.
- 1581 - Made from bamboo, nipa and wood the church was constructed. Due to a typhoon it was badly damaged in 1582.
- 1583 - A fire started from San Agustin Church during the funeral of the Governor General. The fire burned a large portion the city including this church.
- 1592 - The church was rebuilt with stone but in 1600 and earthquake destroyed a portion of the church.
- 1614 - The third transformation was done but in 1645 it was again devastated by an earthquake.
1654 to 1681 - The fourth transformation into a cathedral materialized but was demolished in 1751.
1760 - The fifth reconstruction and inauguration as a cathedral. In 1850 was again renovated but was once again destroyed by and earthquake in 1852
1954 - 1858 - The reconstruction of the sixth version and in 1863 was destroyed by another strong earthquake.
1879 - The seventh transformation and was re enagurated in 1879. Adding a dome as a reference to astronomical longitudes. In 1945 it was bombed and destroyed during the Battle of Manila in World War 2. The cathedral was reduced to ruins after the bombing.
1953 to 1958 - This is the present cathedral today which was named Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Pope John Paul II in 1981.
The church has been thru a lot of disasters but now still stands as one of the magnificent churches in our country.
The tympanum which is the wall just above the entrance to the church has Latin inscriptions.
Tibi Cordi Tuo Immaculato Concredimus Nos Ac Concecramus
The English translation
To Thy Immaculate Heart, Entrust us and Cincecrate us
The holy water front is in the image of an angel with one wing bearing a cloth.
The floors and columns are paved with Carrara marble which was fabricated in Italy. Along with the altar, pulpit and throne which is also made from Italian marble.
In the center is a bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception created by an Italian artist named Vincenzo Assenza from 1915- 1981.
The two columns beside the life sized statue are made from green Carrara marble.
Painted glass are one of my favorite parts of a church. A depiction of Saints and stories are told by this art form which are dramatically illuminated by sunshine. It always takes me a few moments just to appreciate the painted glass.
The prayer box which every church has a place for confession. It is indicated with the number 3 which tells that there are a couple more around the church. I noticed a green bulb just above each door to indicate if it is occupied but I think there is a specific time for confession.
The design on the arches and columns are magnificent which are dramatically lighted up to leave you in amazement.
There is a mass on going but on the side there is a line where visitors could still explore the place without disturbing the church goers. No flash photography and discretion is advised when taking photos.
At the balcony is a grand pipe organ which unfortunately I was not able to take a closer look. It was said that this pipe organ it the largest in the country. The sound of the pipe organ gives a gothic feel that echoes within the church.
The statue of Saint Peter who sits on a throne is dedicated and in remembrance of our late president Sergio Osmenia (1878-1961). He was the fourth president of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946.
Sculpture of an Apostle
Recovered from the ruins from the 7th version of the cathedral
More painted glass adorn the room where some of the sculptures are housed.
On another area there is a statue of Jesus Christ which is crucified. People also come by this area to pray.
An exact replica of one of the famous creations of Michelangelo Buonarroti's "Pieta". A scene of the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus which is full of sorrow and very moving. This is the closest I could get to the actual work of Michelangelo which is at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
This exact replica is made from the mold that was produced from the original. There are two of these replicas one is before us and another one is at a memorial park called Loyola in Marikina. The original is made from Carrara marble in which the replica is also made from.
This section is also decorated with painted glass windows which adds to the beauty of the cathedral. Unfortunately there is no mention to the artists.
It was a breath taking scene and experience inside the cathedral but could not explore any further due to the ongoing mass. I believe that there is still so much to see and learn from the inside. Instead we went out thru the side door and explored the outside area.
Here is a statue of Our Lady of Fatima a gift from the Catholic Women's League.
From below the bell tower can be observed. The architect who re designed the cathedral is Fernando Ocampo with a Neo Romanesque facade, details were added like bronze doors and decorative ornaments like the pineapple on the ledges.
The bell tower clock is spot on with the time and perfectly matched the time on my phone. It is a beauty and I wish I could see more of the tower.
As we leave thru the side exit there is a stall that sells souvenirs and if you are not from around here. It would be nice to get something to remember this church with.
It was an amazing time spent at this church and I could truly say that it was a beautiful experience. Seeing and learning how it went thru disasters. Still stands before us going thru transformations and echoes remnants from the past. It breathes and whispers telling us to have faith and believe even when times are rough. Earthquakes and typhoons of life may break us but we could always come back up and evolve into something stronger and beautiful.
Thanks for joining me and have an #beautifulsunday everyone.
If you would like to check my other works on Church architecture under Take Me to Church