Pictures: Manila Cathedral

See you at the Manila Cathedral on your Visita Iglesia circuit next week. 

The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception has reopened after a PHP136 million reconstruction that lasted two years.

While the work has largely been structural, some changes are visible to the naked eye: restored columns, capitals, decorative arches and stained glass windows; automated LED lighting; and a full set of 30 bells for the carillon. The building’s foundation has also been reinforced, drainage system replaced to prevent flood water from seeping into the ground, and columns retrofitted with a carbon fibre wrap.

The first Manila Cathedral (then known as Church of Manila) was built in 1571 and has been repeatedly destroyed by war and earthquakes. The building that now stands majestically on the Cabildo Street is the eight reincarnation and was completed in 1951.

Details to watch out for: Romanesque facade; imposing cupola (the dome from the inside casts a semi-orange glow and has eight stained glass windows by Filipino artist Galo Ocampo); a high altar made by German artist Toni Fiedler; Marian-themed stained glass windows, also by Ocampo; bronze carvings on the building’s facade; and cast-bronze main door.

Manila Cathedral, Cabildo corner Beaterio Sts, Intramuros, Manila; +63 2 5273093.

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