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On the twenty forth of January 1571,
Manila City was discovered by Spanish
Conqueror, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
Then allocated a piece of land
where a church was established under the
name of La Purisima Immaculada Conception.
After a year, a parish stood in the place
which later on lead to the inauguration
of a Cathedral— built from different
materials such as wood, bamboo, and nipa.
On 1583, a fire razed the city which
burnt the easily combustible Cathedral.
Almost two centuries went by, a Baroque
Themed Cathedral stood under the headship
of a Florentine Architect named
Juan de Uguccioni.
Beside it was an octagonal bell-clock
tower and a Truncated Cupola
at its transept.
Its facade closely resembled the
Church of II Gesu in Rome, Italy.
On September 16, 1852, an earthquake hit
Manila that collapsed the Cathedral
to the ground.
In 1858, the Cathedral sported
an entirely new look.
Engineer Don Nicolas Valdes renounced the
Baroque design and introduced Neoclassism.
The octagonal bell-clock tower was
retained beside the Cathedral
and had a new paint job.
Its Cupola was redesigned from a
truncated form to a hemispherical dome.
On June 3, 1863, a strong earthquake
struck Manila again, shattering
the Cathedral into rubbles.
In 1879, the Cathedral rose once again
to become the city's premier temple.
Architect Don Vicente Serrano y Salaverri
employed a Romanesque-Byzantine edifice.
The octagonal bell-clock tower stood
still beside the Cathedral
despite the number of earthquakes
the city experienced.
A dome raised on a fenestrated drum
marked the nave and transept crossing
of the Cathedral.
The main façade is graced by statues
of famous saints sculpted in Molave wood.
In 1945, the Cathedral was ruthlessly
bombed along with the rest of Intramuros
during the Battle of Liberation.
In 1958, the Cathedral rose phoenix-like
from the desolate ruins of
the old cathedral.
Architect Fernando Ocampo designed it
based from the previous structure
but avoided meticulously duplicating it.
The Cathedral featured a new bell-clock
tower replacing the long-lived
octagonal tower.
Its octagonal cupola was characterized by
eight pairs of stained glass windows
enabling a dramatic light
to enter its interior.
Viewing from the top, the Cathedral
is in cruciform with three-naves.
The statues of the saints were recreated
using Roman travertine stone.
In April 27, 1981, Pope John Paul II
elevated the cathedral into a minor
basilica as it witnessed important
religious activities.
Like all successful stories,
the Manila Cathedral has always managed
to withstand all the hurdles thrown at it.
It is the cycle of life that defined
history and will always be a constant
continuance of our story.
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Manila Cathedral: An Architectural Evolution

103 Folder Collection
Caurora published on February 3, 2019
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