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Information about Baclayon Church

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Baclayon Church, Baclayon, Bohol, Philippines
Distance From City Center
138 m
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Baclayon Church in Bohol

Baclayon Church in Bohol is a declared National Cultural Treasure and National Historic Landmark. It is one of the Philippines' oldest Catholic churches — structurally original and still with authentic materials — dating back to 1727. The actual parish missionary (officially named La Purisima Concepción de la Virgen Parish) was founded by Jesuits in 1596, only a few decades after Spanish conquistadors arrived.

While a significant tourist attraction, Baclayon Church is still managed by local parishioners. For tourists, the reception feels quaint and warm, somewhat loosely organized. When there are no mass services, visitors enter from the small museum, previously a convent. Various religious antiques from as far back as the 16th century are on display.



How to get there

The church is only 6 km from Tagbilaran City, located along the seaside National Road. This makes it a very accessible starting point for touring Bohol province. 

From Dau Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran City, look for a jeepney going to Baclayon. Ask the driver to drop you off at Baclayon Church beforehand.



Best time to visit

Baclayon Church is a cultural landmark that can be visited anytime, regardless of weather or season. This historical church is open from 8 AM to 7 PM every day.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the history behind the restoration of the church?

Baclayon Church was once proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, this was not pursued after a 7.2 earthquake in October 2013, which left the church with a wholly collapsed portico and a bell tower ruined. The interiors were exposed from the street. It took more than four years until the church was fully restored. This time, the rebuilding involved a multi-million budget spearheaded by the Diocese of Tagbilaran and the National Historical Commission. They worked on a new facade and frescoes, the tower and its centuries-old bells, the three altars or retablos, and the antique pulpit and pipe organ. The Papal Nuncio officiated the Eucharistic mass for the reopening in February 2018.

What is Baclayon Church made of?

Baclayon Church is made from coral stone and egg whites mixed as plaster. It is a simple cross-shaped building. Like many colonial churches with only limited materials and townsfolk without engineering expertise, its aesthetic was shaped by the need to rebuild disaster after disaster. These include fires, earthquakes, the invasion of American forces, and damage from World War II.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Baclayon Church?

No, Baclayon Church is a public landmark. You don’t need to secure a slot or pay to visit the church.

Are there restaurants near Baclayon Church?

Yes, there are plenty of restaurants near the church you can go to after attending a mass or a church visit. Some are cafes while some are full-function restaurants and bars.

What's the best way to see Baclayon Church?

The best way to experience Baclayon Church’s beauty is by joining a day tour that will also bring you to other churches and cultural landmarks.

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