The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, also previously called as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, is a neo-classical church in San Fernando City, Pampanga. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the city.
San Fernando City is the provincial capital of Pampanga. It is a first-class city and is also known as the regional center of Central Luzon. Located 67 kilometers north of Manila and 17 kilometers south of Clark Air Base in Angeles City, San Fernando can easily be accessed along North Luzon Express way.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando is situated along Consunji street, corner General Hizon street, in San Fernando City, Pampanga. The nearest landmark is the San Fernando Municipal Building.
The town of San Fernando was founded in 1754 after Don Josef Bersosa presented a petition to create a new town to accommodate growing number of taxpayers from the towns of Bacolor and Mexico. Since then, the San Fernando town was born and in 1755, the first structure of the San Fernando Cathedral was built.
Made from wood and thatch, the Augustinian friars under the patronage of San Fernando III, King of Castille, erected the first church in San Fernando. The secular priests took over in 1788 and the construction of the present style church started during the Fr. Manuel Canlas.
The church was destroyed by fire twice, first was during the Philippine Revolution Army on May 1899 and the second was in 1939. It was restored by the Architect Fernando H. Ocampo in 1948 and was canonically erected on June 25, 1975.
When the San Fernando Cathedral was first restored in 1808, the church measured 70 meters long, 13 meters wide and 11 meters high. It was built with a round majestic dome rising from the rotunda, reminiscent of the baroque style with some renaissance touch. The trompe l’oeil ceiling murals were said to have been painted by Italians artists Giovanni Divella and Cesare Alberoni.
After surviving two fires, it was rebuilt with a neo-classical design. The cathedral stands tall with its big dome and a looming structure of white, beige, gray and maroon, with faux columns.
The San Fernando Cathedral has bore witness to many historical events in San Fernando, Pampanga. Today, the National Museum of the Philippines has declared the Cathedral as an “important cultural property”. Its cultural impact, exemplary aesthetics, architecture and history made the cathedral an important historical landmark in the city of San Fernando.