14 December, 2007

Paoay Church, Paoay Postcards

St. Augustine Church (most popularly known as "Paoay Church") was built in 1694 commissioned by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. The Church was completed in 1710 and rededicated in 1896. The Paoay Church was declared a national treasure by then President Ferdinand Marcos and is included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Paoay Church Postcard 1

Paoay Church is probably the best-known “earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines. Construction of the church started in 1704 and was completed in 1894 by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. Paoay Church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church. The walls are 1.67 meters thick and are supported by 24 carved and massive buttresses.

Paoay Church Postcard 2

The Church is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs. The lower part of the facade was made of stuccoed brick while the upper facaed is made of coral blocks. Local materials were said to be made of mixing sand, lime, sugarcane juice and then boiling the mixture with mangeao (salbot) leaves, leather and rice straw for two nights.

Paoay Church Postcard 3

Huge buttresses (earthquake Baroque), perhaps unmatched throughout the archipelago, give ballast to the massive walls of the church. All in all, they number 24 - eleven on each side, and two at the rear - each projecting five and half paces from the wall and with a two-pace thickness. Stairways of varying slopes are attached to both side walls. At the rear wall is the gable that stands in memory of one time stylized Chinese clouds.

Paoay Church Postcard 4

Its belltower, which is detached from its main building, is made of coral stone and was used by the Katipuneros as an observation post in 1896 and again by Filipino soldiers during World War II. Earthquakes damaged portions of the church in 1865 and 1885.

Paoay Church Postcard 5

The Church takes pride in possessing a marble main altar and four side altars of classical Baroque influence. An improvised sacristy is at the side of the main altar for the old sacristy, which is at the rear of the altar, has been badly dilapidated by the forces of nature. Windows, currently of modern influence, enshrine stained glass.

Paoay Church Postcard 6

Pictures of Philippine Churches: St. Augustine Church

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