Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Paoay Church, Philippines

Philippines-9, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Postcard World.

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. Considered as the most outstanding variant of the "earthquake Baroque", Paoay Church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber, and has 24 carved buttresses. 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. 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. In an excavation conducted inside the church in 2000, a prehistoric human skeleton and fragmented ceramics were discovered and are now on display at the National Museum. The Paoay Church was declared a national treasure by then President Ferdinand Marcos. Now included in UNESCO's World Heritage List, Paoay Church had revealed several structural decays after centuries of exposure to the elements and will soon undergo restoration under the auspices of UNESCO.


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