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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Interesting Historical Facts of St. Bartholomew Parish Church

Courtesy of Laguna Travel Guide

This church is so far one of the oldest churches ever made as early as in the 15th century. It's full of interesting historical facts that even made some people believed that a certain legend exists about a hidden tunnel that is still remain undiscovered inside the church, which is connected to the underground cemetery.

Rev. Tomas Miranda, then a resident priest of the church built the church with light materials in 1583. It was called "Nagcarlan Church" by then. It was then upgraded in construction with bricks and stones in 1752, but was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1781, and was then reconstructed in 1845 with the addition of a choir loft, added by Rev. Vicente Velloc - who also constructed the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan.

Interestingly, St. Bartholomew Parish Church is just across the town's municipal hall and the public market, while the Underground Cemetery is also close to the municipal hall and used to be a place for the church's funeral mass in 18th century. The Underground Cemetery is considered to be the only underground cemetery built in the Philippines.

St. Bartholomew Parish Church's architectural design is quite unique with its Baroque style design. The entrance has a facade designed with a semi-circular arch flanked with semi-circular windows as well, enhanced with tall pedestals that lift the columns on the second level, with various numbers and lengths. The church is built with 4-storey brick bell tower with a Muslim-inspired crenelations bell. This brick tower was also credited with its construction to Fr. Fernando dela Puebla.

As the years go by, many various lighting improvements and more renovations were done which is now seen as somehow modernized these days.

St, Bartholomew Church is genuinely a historical landmark, - it's worth visiting!