March 16, 2014

Rising from ashes

Taal Basilica "Disasters work like alarm clocks to the world,
hence God allows them.
They are shouting, 'Wake up! Love! Pray!'"
~ Criss Jami, American poet and essayist

The Basilica de San Martin de Tours, located in the town of Taal in the province of Batangas, is the largest known Catholic church in Asia, standing 88.6 meters (291 feet) long and 48 meters (157 feet) wide. Designed by Spanish architect Luciano Oliver, construction of the church started in 1856 and finished in 1865.

The history of the Taal Basilica, as it is more popularly known, and of the town itself, is much older, however.

Taal was founded by Augustinian missionaries in 1572, in what is now the town of San Nicolas. The first church was built in 1575 by Padre Diego Espina. Then in 1754, the entire town was destroyed during one of Taal Volcano's largest eruptions. The town was then relocated to its present site and construction of a new church began in 1755. That church was destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1849, but the town survived, thankfully.


Lowell said...

Well, that quote doesn't work for me but the church is certainly a magnificent work of art! I'm curious, knowing that the Philippines is a very "religious" country, does that translate into full churches on Sundays?

William Kendall said...

That is a spectacular looking church!

Lois said...

It's absolutely gorgeous Hilda. I would not be able to stop looking up!

George said...

The basilica is beautiful, and the historical information is very interesting.