Manila Cathedral - Philippines
The walled city of Intramuros contains many attractions, and definitely one of those is the famous Manila Cathedral. With its colorful history and imposing appearance, it continues to attract devotees and tourists from all over the world.
The Manila Cathedral that can be seen in the area is actually the sixth one to emerge from the spot. The very first was constructed in 1581 and destroyed two years later by a large fire. A new one was built in 1592 but less than a decade later in 1600 a powerful quake devastated the edifice. Another earthquake in 1645 demolished the cathedral which had been built in 1614 on the same spot.
Two more churches were built and were both damaged by earthquakes, in 1863 and 1880. The last one utterly crushed the bell tower and it was not restored until 1959, when the current Manila Cathedral was begun. The reconstruction begun under the watch of Archbishop Rufino Santos and the work was carried out by the architect Fernando Ocampo.
The interior of the Manila Cathedral is characterized by the presence of ornately designed stained glass windows, and there are also plenty of rosette windows there, which had been a part of the other churches that had stood in the same spot before. In addition there are several outstanding mosaic works embedded in the chapels.
Like other basilicas, the Manila Cathedral has also become the place where clergy and prelates are buried. Among them are Michael ODoherty, the last foreign Archbishop of the city, and Jaime Cardinal Sin, one of the most influential cardinals in Philippine history.
The Manila Cathedral is located at the Plaza Roma, at Intramuros. You can get to Intramuros by hopping on a bus headed to Lawton. When you are at the walled city, just walk over to the Palacio del Gobernador and you will see the church nearby. The cost of a tour of Intramuros, which will of course include a visit to this landmark, is around 1,500 Php, although the price may vary depending on the hotel.
The inherent beauty of the Manila Cathedral, as well as the story of how it continues to rise despite all the obstacles that have emerged, is a testament to the perseverance not just of the builders, but it is also a reflection of the unwavering faith of the Filipino people and their tenacity in building a shrine to showcase that devotion.