Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Trip: Taal Church

Loacation: Taal, Batangas

Basilica de San Martin de Tours in Taal is the largest church in Asia, standing 96 meters long and 45 meters wide. The Augustinian Missionaries started construction in 1756, but it was destroyed whenTaal volcano erupted in 1754. It took a century for the church to achieve its present form. St. Martin of Tours is the patron of Taal, whose feast is celebrated every November 11.
Taal Basilica was first built in present day San Nicolas, Batangas, by Fray.Deigo Espina in 1575 under the Augustinians, with San Martin de Tours as patron saint. In 1754 the church was destroyed along with the town Taal in the eruption of the Taal volcano. It was then that the church was transferred to its present site. Father Martin Aguirre donated the land for the new church in 1755, but in 1849 it was destroyed again by an earthquake. Construction of the new church began in 1856 to 1878, the Spanish architect Luciano Oliver commissioned to design and manage the construction of the present church. A small tower was made on its left side but it was destroyed during Japanese occupation. It was reconstructed later and it was then taller than the original. The church was made into a basilica on 8 December, 1954 and was declared a national shrine on January 16, 1974. The conical coronation of the Our Lady of Caysasay was also made in basilica in 1954. Taal Basilica is consider as the biggest church in the Philippines and in Asia.

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