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“A Must See Place in Manila”
Review of San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church
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Manila Super Saver: Manila Sightseeing plus Tagaytay Tour with Taal Volcano
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Private Half-Day Tour of Old Manila
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Introduction to Philippine History Art and Cuisine Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 139 things to do in Manila
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Owner description: This museum and courtyard gardens is one of the oldest stone churches in the country, having survived 2 fires and 7 earthquakes.
Manila, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A Must See Place in Manila”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

The San Agustin Church in Intramuros is one of the must-see places in the Philippines. It is one of the oldest churches in the country. It is the only structure in Intramuros that survived the onslaught of the Second World War. All the "Spanish" buildings (including the Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, the Ayuntamiento and the Aduana ruins) were all restored after the war.

The San Agustin Church is one the "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The church's architecture was influenced by four different cultures: Filipino, Chinese, Mexican and Spanish.

The adjoining museum, however, is a total rip-off. The 100 pesos admission fee is not worth it. There is nothing much to see there except for faded paintings, antique religious icons (which you are not allowed to photograph) and some niches.

I strongly recommend to anyone to visit the church but not the museum.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank angeles624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Best Baroque Church Interior is Just in Manila”
Reviewed September 3, 2012

San Agustin Church of Intramuros is the oldest standing stone church in the Philippines.

Unlike Paoay and Sta. Maria (other churches in the serial site Baroque Churches of the Philippines - World Heritage Site), San Agustin does not have external buttresses. The earthquake-proof system, however, are its internal buttresses (that forms the side chapels inside) and vaults. Although the facade is flat and lacking in grace, the interior is a wonder! The trompe l'oeil ceiling paintings were made by two Italian painters in 1975. Several conquistadores are also interred within the church.

If given the opportunity to go inside the monastery and alleys, grab it - it is the church's best kept secrets. Notice as well the presence of Chinese fu dog statues on its facade. These were donated by the Chinese merchants who were peaceful coexistence with the meztizos and Spaniards residing within the walled city. The church is largely made of volcanic tuff.

Best time to visit is late afternoon when they ring the bells in tune. Also the church faces West, so for proper photos, afternoon will do best. It's an experience.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank theberntraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Beautiful stone church with a rich history. Survived the 2nd world war and numerous earthquakes. Packed with visitors and you need to be patient to get in as the queue can be long.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank jbgt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
272 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 264 helpful votes
“Lovely Church”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We walked through this lovely building with its beautiful windows and architecture. There was a short service on after we were inside and we were in the upstairs area at the time so were allowed to stay. During our visit a lady played the organ, which sounded amazing. A small donation was able to be made to the church in appreciation of her talent.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank HAVEFUN000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Old Spanish Church with WWII History”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Old world church, interesting interior. Went to see a Mass (I am not catholic) and was amazed at how many people were there and the church has no AC. It has English plaques in front with history including some of the happenings during WWII. Excellent Restaurant accross the street where the well to do Chinese who are business leaders in Manila go to eat breakfast.

Visited October 2011
1 Thank jocampo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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