Top Beautiful Churches In Metro Manila

churches in manila

The Philippines’ history of being under Spanish rule resulted in the creation of multiple beautiful churches in Manila. Many of these churches are ideal spots for religious pilgrimage tours. These churches are ideal spots for religious tours thanks to their old-school architecture and deep history. Some of these churches have also become sites for Catholic events, from the Holy Wee to Christmas Eve.

8 Beautiful Churches In Manila You Should Visit

The Spanish Colonization played a major role in making the Philippines housing one of the biggest Catholic populations in Asia. At the time, many churches were created as places of prayer for the growing religion, and several remain to this day. Here are eight beautiful churches in Manila that you should drop by, especially for your holy visits.

Quiapo Church

The Quiapo Church is also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, which is coincidental as it is the very church that houses the Black Nazarene. The church, like its namesake, is also associated with one of the most active yearly Catholic celebrations in the Philippines. The Feast of the Black Nazarene draws millions of devotees to the Manila streets.

Architect Juan Nakpil designed the church’s current structure plan in the 1930s. The church is mainly designed with Baroque motifs and boasts a spacious dome and impressive external front.

Binondo Church

The Binondo Church, formally known as the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, is constructed in the heart of the oldest Chinatown in the world. The church gained its formal name from Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, with a statue of him also featured at the center of the church. The Binondo church is widely recognized for its maroon-colored borders and facade.

It stands out from the many Catholic churches in Manila for its beautiful and elegant appearance and an octagonal Chinese-style bell tower on the outside. It is also known for housing colorful paintings on the inside. 

Malate Church

Also known as Our Lady of Remedies Parish, the Malate Church is popularly known for its solid stone structure while boasting Baroque-style aesthetics. It is also best known for housing Our Lady of Remedies, brought by the Spaniards in 1624. Additionally, the combined Muslim and Mexican baroque elements inspire the Malate Church’s architectural style. The church is located close to Manila Bay, which gives visitors a scenic view of the sea from the church’s perspective. 

See also: Recommended Things To Do In Manila Bay

Ermita Church

The Ermita Church is known for being home to the Marian Image of the Immaculate Concepcion, which is known to be the oldest Marian image in the Philippines. Unlike the other historical churches, this church features a simpler, modern design. Atop the church’s entrance lies a terrace, directly beneath a statue of the Virgin Mary, flanked by three narrow vertical arches. 

Santa Ana Church

The Santa Ana Church, also known as The Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned, is one of the most visited Catholic churches in Manila when it comes to the Visita Iglesia traditions. Like many from the Spanish colonial era, this church boasts a Baroque architectural style. Its facade is divided into three levels by delicate, protruding brick lines. Inside the church, guests can see two cultural attractions: the Santa Ana Site Museum and the Dressing Room of the Virgin. 

San Sebastian Church, Manila

The San Sebastian Church is similar to other historical churches in Manila that have stood the test of time. Officially called the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, this church is recognized as the only one constructed entirely out of steel in the Philippines. The church’s Gothic-inspired architectural style is elevated with stained glass windows and small chandeliers.

Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral is a must-visit cathedral for visitors who are looking to offer their prayers or check out its architectural beauty. Located within Intramuros, this church dates back to the 1570s and serves as the seat of Manila’s Archbishop. This church displays a striking Neo-Romanesque facade and Byzantine motifs paired with bronze doors. Its architectural exterior, pineapple finials, and well-designed interiors have contributed to its recognition as one of the most beautiful churches in Manila to date.

San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is one of the many iconic historical structures found within Intramuros City. The beauty of San Agustin Church could not be understated as it is a common attraction among the city’s visitors. It is best known as the Philippines’ oldest stone church, boasting an intricate architectural design.  

Unique among the other churches in Manila. San Agustin Church is even recognized as one of the Philippines’ UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to its major role in influencing the design of other churches in the country. Both its external design and different altars are constructed in a high Baroque style.

See also: A Look At Every Tourist Spot In Intramuros

Closing Thoughts

Many visitors would be thrilled and impressed to know that there are many beautiful churches in Manila, as well as outside the capital. The country’s deep roots in Catholicism have been the influence that led to these churches being erected and are available to this day. Checking these churches out is ideal for many reasons, whether it is for a Holy Week journey or a simple visit to give your sincere prayers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions that are commonly brought up by visitors regarding the churches within Manila.

Which church is best for Visita Iglesia?

One of the most highly recommended churches is the San Agustin Church due to its deep history and recognition. Another church visitors should check out is the Quiapo Church.

What church is the seat of power of Catholicism in Manila?

The archbishop’s seat is Manila Cathedral. Following Domingo de Salazar, the first bishop of Manila, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese. 

What is the first church in the Philippines?

While San Agustin Church is considered the oldest stone church in the Philippines, the first ever established church in the Philippines is the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino. It was established in 1525 as the Spaniards’ second attempt to “Christianize” the country.

Related: Top 30 Most Beautiful Roman Catholic Churches of the Philippines

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