The Taal Basilica Minore of St. Martin of Tours, is the biggest catholic church in South East Asia.
This is to continue the Taal Discovery. After our hike at Taal Volcano, we were off to the Taal Heritage town, which is 45min to an hour long drive from San Nicolas. It was already pass 5 in the afternoon when we reached the town itself. It was a very interesting town, quite small in contrast to Vigan but you could easily see the historical houses being towered by the gigantic Taal Basilica at the town center park. The Basilica is huge, and what a perfect timing that I forgot to bring my wide angle lens in times like this. I have to get really far just to take a shot of it.
A devotee lighting a candle and offering a prayer.
A bit unfortunate that it was already late and there was a mass on going inside the church. We couldn’t get up to the bell tower and view the whole Town of Taal from the top. So we just looked around the church. I’m really impressed by the huge columns that support the second level of the church. It looks very Roman and reminds me of the church pictures I see in Rome. Probably inspired?
The Basilica Wall, impressive roman columns and aging texture of the walls.
Written on its door: The church was built in 1575, destroyed by the Taal explosion in 1754 and was rebuild in 1755. Then an earthquake shook it down in 1849 and once again rebuilt in 1856 by Architect Luciano Olivero.
Right now the church is decreed as a Historical Landmark. Any renovations or changes done should go by the National Historical Institue first. I also read somewhere that the whole town is being considered or there are talks in including them in UNESCO’s heritage list.
The Basilica on the side with the bell tower on top.
Taal town is very interesting. I’m planning on going back here soon to explore more of the town itself as we only had the chance to visit only the Basilica.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.