Visita Iglesia 2016: 7 Historical Churches in Manila

Philippines is known as the seat of Catholicism in Asia, such that of Rome in Europe and Mexico in the Americas. Having said so, there are over 70 million devout Catholics in the country.

During the Holy Week, when most people are having their vacation in the provinces or just having a staycation in their homes, many people still go out and visit churches to pray and to reflect on the Passion of Jesus Christ. Such religious vow and/or devotion is called Visita Iglesia.

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Visita Iglesia is the Spanish term, that means “to visit churches”. This tradition began in Rome in the 1300s, as the pilgrims’ way of penance. At present, it is usually done, ideally on the evening of Maundy Thursday, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed at the Altar of Repose. People visit seven churches traditionally, but some people opt to visit fourteen and recite one Station of the Cross in each church.

Every year, since we got together, this has been our religious vow. Since we are interested in history and old structures, we decided to give this year’s Visita Iglesia a twist — to visit seven historical churches in Manila.

Here are the seven historical churches in Manila that we have visited this year:

1. San Beda Church (The Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat)
Hispanic Name: None
Built: 1925
Architectural Style: Neo-Gothic (exterior); Neo-Baroque (interior)
Location: 638 Mendiola St., Manila

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2. San Sebastian Church (San Sebastian Basilica)
Hispanic Name: Basilica Menor de San Sebastian
Built: 1888
Architectural Style: Neo-Gothic
Location: Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila

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3. Sta. Cruz Church (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church)
Hispanic Name: None
Built: 1768
Architectural Style: Asian-Hispanic Baroque
Location: Carriedo St., Binondo, Manila

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4. Binondo Church (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish / Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz)
Hispanic Name: Parroquia de Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario / Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo Ruiz
Built: 1762
Architectural Style: Italian High Renaissance
Location: Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila

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5. Manila Cathedral (Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception)
Hispanic Name: Catedral-Basilica Metropolitana de la Immaculada Concepcion de Manila
Built: 1581
Architectural Style: Neo-Romanesque
Location: Cabildo cor. Beaterio St., Intramuros, Manila

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6. San Agustin Church (Immaculate Conception Parish Church of San Agustin / Shrine of Our Lady of Consolacion Y Correa)
Hispanic Name: Parroquia de la Immaculada Concepcion de Maria de San Agustin / Santuario de Nuestra Senora de la Consolacion Y Correa
Built: 1586
Architectural Style: Baroque
Location: Gen. Luna St. corner Real St., Intramuros, Manila

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7. Sta. Ana Church (Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church of Santa Ana)
Hispanic Name: Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados / Iglesia de Santa Ana
Built: 1720
Architectural Style: Baroque; Churrigueresque (Altar)
Location: New Panaderos St., Sta. Ana, Manila

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As a bonus, here are the churches where we grew up to:

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine (National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)
Hispanic Name: None
Built: 1975
Architectural Style: Unknown
Location: Broadway Avenue (formerly Dona Juana Rodriguez Avenue), New Manila, Quezon City

Mt. Carmel
(c) http://www.mtcarmelshrine.com/

Santuario del Santo Cristo (Church of San Juan del Monte)
Hispanic Name: None
Built: 1602-1604
Architectural Style: Earthquake Baroque
Location: 183 F. Blumentritt St., San Juan City

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