Famous for its twin spires and beautiful rose-colored paint, Our Lady of Atonement Metropolitan Cathedral is more commonly called as simply the Baguio Cathedral, as it sits on the top of the hill overlooking the city. It is known as the biggest Church in Baguio and is accessible either through a 100-step stone staircase or via access roads behind the Baguio Post Office building.
A Safehouse during WWII
Before its construction, the hill it sits on was referred to as “Kampo” by native Ibalois. However, it was renamed as Mount Mary by then parish priest Fr. Florimund Carlu after the arrival of Belgian missionaries, who later ordered the construction of the cathedral in 1920. It was said that it took 25 Igorot carpenters and several Congregatio Immaculate Cordis Mariae (CICM) priests and brothers to build the church, which was later consecrated in 1936 and dedicated to Our Lady of Atonement, the first in the world.
The Church withstood a few trials in its time. It served as an evacuation center during the Japanese occupation and in World War II. It was also affected by the massive earthquake in July 1990 and underwent extensive renovations to be rebuilt, opening its doors to the public four months later.
AKA The Baguio Cathedral
Currently, the Cathedral stands tall with its distinguishable rose-pink color and twin belfries, which resemble the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia. It has pyramidal rooftops and stained-glass rosette windows, with intricate interior decoration found in typical Catholic churches. Outside is a large courtyard with a view deck that overlooks Session Road and the central city’s landscape.