Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gothic San Sebastian Church, Manila

Another dream church of mine to visit, always slipping from my memory and recall, most probably because of its location now that I reside in the south of Manila. The notion that when a beautiful place is just near your residence, you ignore it most of the time that leads more to forgetfulness.

What is striking with this church is the structure. Built out of solid steel and IMPORTED and SHIPPED from Belgium! Doubling my amazement are its stained-glass windows that were made in Germany.

Each gaze that my eyes took around the interiors of the church made me smile. You wont think you are in Asia. Having a Gothic-designed church in the Philippines is a rarity. We usually have baroque, either neo-baroque or rococo styles.

The Basilica Minore de San Sebasti├ín and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the same time, was  completed in 1891.  It is the only all-steel church or basilica in Asia, and claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world.
 
The joy was replaced with sadness when I took close-up pictures of the walls, it revealed to me the pressing problem of the church. The steel structure has been beset by rust and corrosion, to which the sea breezes from nearby Manila Bay contribute.

San Sebastián Church was declared a National Historical Landmark by the late President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree No. 260 in 1973. The Church is now under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects.























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