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Manila, Philippines.

Featured in Shapes & Patterns – 26 May 2011

Featured in Religious Architecture – 27 Jun 2010

The church has an eventful past.

It is known as the Church of St Paul and was originally built in 1571 as the first church of the Agustinian Order. Now the first disaster occurred in 1574 when Chinese pirates destroyed it. Then in the next twelve years it had a problem with fire and was burnt to the ground twice, in 1583 and again in 1586.

It was then decided to rebuild the San Agustin Church in stone. The rebuilding started in 1587 and took to 1604 to be completed. However just because it was built of stone didn’t mean it was not going to have an easy life. It survived the earthquakes of 1645, 1754, 1863 and 1880, not a bad effort. The San Agustin Church Manila was ransacked by the British in 1762 and was damaged during the battle of Manila at the end of World War II in 1945. In a way it has faired better than others in Intramuros in particular Manila Cathedral.

The interior of San Agustin Church Manila has magnificent trompe l’oeil murals covering the walls and the ceiling, you really have to see them to understand the work that must have gone into them to create such an incredible piece of art.

If you go upstairs through the Museum, you can gain access to the choir loft, from here you can get a birds eye view of the churches interior. You can see the 14th Century Chandeliers hanging throughout the interior of the San Agustin Church. The entire church looks and feels as if it belongs in a different era and actually entering it makes you feel like you are stepping back in time, almost intruding.

In the choir loft have a look at the seats or benches. Not too remarkable, but all 60 were hand carved from Molave which is a tropical hardwood in the 17th century. In todays age of mass production and a throw away society it is nice to see something survive and flourish from yesteryear.

The remains of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, Juan de Salcedo, Lavezares and Goiti all Spanish Conquistadors are buried here in the San Agustin Church. (Source:

Nikon D60, 18-55 mm lens, handheld, f/3.5, 1/20, ISO 800, exp 0 step, focal length 18 mm, no flash

single file converted to 3 exposures in PS (-1, 0, +1).
tone mapped in Photomatix.

© All Images Copyright Yhun Suarez 2010-2013. All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized reproduction of my work which intended to make money or is included in a money making project is strictly prohibited. If you want to reproduce my pictures for any reason, contact me and ask permission. Your specific use will determine the conditions for rights I may grant. NON-profit use of my images may be granted in some cases, but I would require adjacent credit with hyper-linking to the page of origin.

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  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 4 years ago

    How beautiful and thank you for the history

  • thanks :)

    – Yhun Suarez

  • nataraki76
    nataraki76over 4 years ago

    Nice work bro!

  • salamat :)

    – Yhun Suarez

  • Leanna Lomanski
    Leanna Lomanskiover 4 years ago

  • thanks very much Leanna :)

    – Yhun Suarez

  • Jadon
    Jadonover 4 years ago

    Love it mate..

  • Randy  Le'Moine
    Randy Le'Moineover 4 years ago

    This is something special.

  • Julesrules
    Julesrulesabout 4 years ago

    gorgeous – a fave

  • thanks Jules :)

    – Yhun Suarez

  • carol brandt
    carol brandtabout 4 years ago

    wowow… like a mandala

  • could be inspired by mandala…different religion but possible :)

    – Yhun Suarez

  • Maria  Moro
    Maria Moroover 3 years ago
  • Manon Boily
    Manon Boilyover 3 years ago

    wow! that’s huge! congrats

  • Maria  Moro
    Maria Moroover 3 years ago

    still one of my faves… well done

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