Philippines

An Exploration of San Agustin Church: Photo Essay

The amount of destruction that occurred in the Philippines during World War II was horrendous. Countless historic buildings were lost. Some of the worst devastation occurred in the historic Manila district of Intramuros, whose name means “Walled City”. Only a single building was left largely standing: San Agustin Church.

Manila’s beautiful San Agustin Church is over 500 years old, initially built in 1607. Unlike many other buildings in Manila and the rest of the Philippines, the church has managed to survive many other disasters, including 8 major earthquakes. During the Battle of Manila, it was horrifically used as a concentration camp. But following the battle, it again survived, with only the roof damaged.

San Augustin Church is now World Heritage listed by UNESCO, as part of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines listing. It is one of the must-see sights on a visit to Manila.

Come and explore this magnificent historic site…

San Agustin Front 2

The front of San Agustin Intramuros

San Agustin Statue 2

Statue next to the entrance of San Agustin Church

San Agustin Front

Only the right bell tower remains. The left tower was damaged during an earthquake in the 19th century and subsequently demolished.

San Agustin Interior

The intricately decorated interior of San Agustin

San Agustin Altar

The altar inside San Agustin

San Agustin Ceiling

The ceiling of San Agustin, gorgeously decorated with the trompe l’oeil technique

San Agustin Chandelier

The chandeliers inside San Agustin, imported from France

San Agustin Statues 3

Statues of saints within San Agustin

San Agustin Gate

Gateway leading from San Agustin Church to the monastery next door

San Agustin Hallways

The beautiful hallway in the monastery next to San Agustin Church. The monastery was destroyed during WWII, but was rebuilt, and is now a museum.

San Agustin Window

The outlook from the hallway into the courtyard

San Agustin Courtyard

Courtyard of the San Agustin Monastery

San Agustin Musuem Altarpiece

An historic altarpiece in the San Agustin Museum

San Agustin Monastery Dome

Dome above the staircase in San Agustin Monastery

San Agustin Statue

Lion status on the front of San Agustin Church

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San Agustin Intramuros

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Abigail
    December 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    What a magical church with beautiful architectural details. I love your use of B&W photos because it adds a more dramatic flair to these photos. You don’t even need words for them – those photos speak for themselves!

    • Reply
      sjcleaver
      December 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks so much! It’s such a stunning church, a must to visit in Manila.

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