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Information about Sinking Bell Tower

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Sinking Bell Tower, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Distance from center
171 m
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Sinking Bell Tower

The Laoag Sinking Bell Tower in Ilocos

Located at a rather curious 85-meter-distance from the church proper, the bell tower of St Williams Cathedral is said to be the tallest in the Philippines at 45 meters. It is the most striking building that welcomes visitors into Laoag City in Ilocos Norte province.

Like many centuries-old churches in the Philippines — a few also found in Ilocos — its bricks were joined by a blend of molasses, the juice of exotic leaves, lime, and sand.

Unfortunately, the bell tower rests on sandy land. Its size weighing it down, the tower is believed to sink into the ground an inch every year. Locals would say people from centuries ago could mount on a horse and be able to pass through the tower’s arches. 

Today, visitors from street level need to descend a few steps to reach the door and must stoop to enter, if at all permitted by the city council. Even so, the belfry is still used, accessible by a winding stairway.


How to get there

The Sinking Bell Tower is situated in the middle of Laoag City,  You can get anywhere in the city by hailing a tricycle.


Best time to visit

It is an all-year round destination. The church, where the bell tower is located, can be included in a pilgrimage 

Frequently asked questions

Where is the Sinking Bell Tower located?

The bell tower is located in St William’s Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Laoag.

Why is St, William’s Cathedral, the location of the sinking bell tower, significant to the citizens?

The church features an Italian Renaissance design. Its two-story facade has a recessed niche that houses the image of San Guillermo el Ermitaño, the city's patron saint. Throughout most of the church are windows made from delicate capiz shells with wrought iron screens.

Is the sinking bell tower preserved in the church?

Although the church building is often renovated for upkeep and maintenance, the bell tower, whose original design and finishing touch, are preserved, including the shrubs that have grown through the years.

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