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Information about Paoay Church

4.7
1462 Google reviews
Type
Religious Sites
Location
The Paoay Church Gift Store, Brgy. 18, Veronica, Paoay, Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Distance From City Center
147 m
High Season
Winter
Family Friendly
No
Established date
1686
Width
40 m
Length
110 m
Average rating
4.7
Number of reviews
1462

Paoay Church

Paoay Church

Paoay Church is a Roman Catholic church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte province, completed in 1710 after 2 decades of construction. With a massive pediment and complementary bell tower standing imposingly on an expansive plain, the church is famous for an architecture that blends baroque, gothic, Chinese, and Javanese.

Its official name is the Saint Augustine Church. Already a declared National Cultural Treasure in 1973, Paoay Church was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 under the collective group “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”. It shares the distinction with San Agustin Church in Manila, Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur province, and Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church in Miagao, Iloilo province.

In 2018, the National Historical Commission launched the restoration project worth PHP 30 million, further acknowledging the church as part of the national patrimony.

How to get there

Paoay Church is located at Marcos Ave, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The Church is 45 minutes to an hour away from the bus terminal. You can ride a van or tricycle, just ask the driver to drop you off at the church.

 

Best time to visit

Paoay Church is an indoor attraction and can be visited anytime of day.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most notable feature of Paoay Church?

The most notable feature of Paoay Church is the 24 giant buttresses flanking its sides, which earned the moniker “earthquake baroque” from colonial architecture experts. The 5-foot-thick buttresses were added to reinforce the church against earthquakes throughout the centuries.

What is Paoay Church made of?

As with the rest of the church walls, they are made of large coral stones. Historians have discovered that other ingenious ingredients were added to the mortar to further ensure that the church stood against calamities. These include leather straps and stucco made from sand, lime, sugarcane juice boiled with mango leaves, and rice straw.

Is there a bell tower in Paoay Church?

Yes, there is. Visitors can climb up to the tower and take in a view of Paoay to the coast of the West Philippine Sea. This vantage point made the bell tower a key observation post of the Katipuneros during the Philippine revolution in 1896 and also by Filipino guerillas during World War II.

What is the church’s interior?

Inside Paoay Church, the austere ambiance is arresting. Compared to major churches old and new, the Church has but a few antique statues and a rustic wooden cross at the altar. There is considerable patronage mostly only on Sundays.