4918826649_e7475b2468_bPaoay Church (also known as the St. Augustine Church in Paoay) is a historical church located in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. It is among the four baroque churches in the Philippines that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its unique combination of baroque and oriental styles. It currently is a property of the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

Its construction started in 1704 and was completed in 1894 by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. It is said, that its construction primarily was intended to withstand earthquakes. And it could test the strength of the walls very soon, because the church was damaged by an earthquake in 1706 and 1927.

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The design of the church is a mixture of Gothic, Oriental and Baroque influence.

Known as the “Earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines, Paoay church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, salbot (tree sap) and lumber, and has 24 carved massive buttresses for support. It is an architectural solution to the area’s challenging, natural setting. Both sides of the nave are lined with the most voluminous stone buttresses seen around the islands. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church. The walls are 1.67 meters thick made of the same materials. Its bell tower, which is detached from its main building, is made of coral stone. It stands a safe distance away to spare the sanctuary in case of collapse. Originally, the church roof was thatched; and it is conjectured so that buttresses not only support walls but give roof access during fire and typhoon.

 

Source: http://www.ilocandiarealtor.com/

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