Sunday, June 26, 2016

National Cultural Treasure Series - MINOR BASILICA OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, Tayabas, Quezon

The Minor Basilica of St. Michael The Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon is known as the longest Spanish Colonial church with the longest aisle in the entire Philippines measuring 103 meters or 338 feet long. The church is the largest in the province of Quezon and the 2nd biggest in the Philippines, and one of the oldest religious structures. It is built in the shape of a key. Locals often refer to the church as Susi ng Tayabas or the "Key of Tayabas" because of its floor plan designed after the shape of a key. The church has earned the reputation of being one of the most beautiful churches in the country.

The Church of St. Michael The Archangel was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark in 1978.  The National Museum of the Philippines declared Tayabas Basilica as a National Cultural Treasure on July 31, 2001 along with 25 churches in the Philippines.

The church's 103-meter (338-foot) aisle also has the longest nave among Spanish colonial era churches in the Philippines.

The church underwent a series of rebuilding and renovations since it was built more than 400 years ago. The Franciscan Missionaries had the first church built in 1585 using indigenous materials like bamboo, anahaw and nipa. It was rebuilt in 1590 by Saint Juan Bautista. And again rebuilt in 1600 using bricks. Ravaged by an earthquake in 1743, the church was repaired and enlarged in 1856 to include a transept and cupola. An 18th century clock that chimed every 30 minutes was installed on the side of the belfry, said to be the only one of its kind in the Philippines.

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