Santa Maria Church: Baroque Churches of the Philippines

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ilocos Sur

UNESCO, Santa Maria Church, Santa Maria Town, Ilocos Sur Province
Santa Maria Church is located on a hill in the town. The Church and Convent is perfectly suited for self-defense which is one of Baroque Churches of the Philippines characteristics.
This Church was built in 1765. The location is different from typical Spanish tradition that would be built in the central plaza. Church on the hill can keep an eye on the enemy effectively. The enemy is not specified, I guess they were Chinese pirates or Muslim troops. I visited the church at noon and the only person there. The church office starts quite late afternoon working hour.

Facade, Santa Maria Church
Giant Buttress, Santa Maria Church
Separated Bell Tower, Santa Maria Church
The church has been influenced by Hispanic architecture, built with bricks and have huge buttress. The bell tower is located separately in order to more withstand earthquakes.
(See Earthquake Baroque)

Interior, Santa Maria Church
Cieling Paint, Santa Maria Church
Within the church, the roof is the same as almost every church I have visited. Roof covered with zinc sheets. Floors are tiles and ceiling over the simple altar is decorated with beautiful pattern.

Convent, Santa Maria Church
Landscape, Santa Maria Church
Around the church 
When walking around the area, I saw mountains, rice fields and villages. Santa Maria Church is a beautiful, quiet, and simple religious place. It is not popular tourist attraction. There is a small souvenir stall at the foothill. No restaurant and cafe, even a hotel nearby.

Santa Maria Church is located to the south of Vigan City for 30-40 min. Along the way there are communities that are relatively dense and beaches. The bridge across the river is beautiful scenery.

See other Baroque Churches of Philippines and museum I’ve visited.

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