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Intramuros Treasure: San Agustin Church, Luzon’s Oldest Church


The San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila is a famous venue for weddings, school field trips and visits by tourists. It has also grown to be a symbol of elegance and a time capsule of art and history of the culture in Manila. Travel with us inside the San Agustin Church of Manila.




You won’t miss it if you just walk along General Luna Street in Intramuros, Manila. After all, it has been in the vicinity since 1571 when the very first Roman Catholic Church building was constructed in the island of Luzon. Back then, they called it Iglesia de San Pablo.


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The church was burned down by fire twice in the past. That made the Spaniards decide to put up a third church, a stone structure which was completed in 1607 and which is now the San Augustine Church that we know of. The stones used came all the way from San Mateo, Rizal, Binangonan, Rizal and Meycauayan, Bulacan. And due to its rich history, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO declared it a “world heritage site” in 1993 along with 3 other Spanish colonial churches constructed about the same period.




The Philippine government on the other hand, declared it a “National Historical Landmark” in 1976, being one of the “Baroque Churches in the Philippines.”


With its appealing archaic interior design, it has become a favourite venue for elegant weddings. Thus, it is dubbed the “Wedding Capital of the Philippines.” In fact, being wed in it has become a status symbol even for the elite. The church exterior is rather plain and banal compared to its pompous and palatial interior, sometimes bemusing the expectation of a new visitor and adding to his or her admiration.



Miguel Lopez de Legazpi is a Basque-Spanish navigator and governor who established the first Spanish settlement in East Indies. He arrived in the Philippines in 1565. He is the first governor general of the Philippines (27 April 1565 – 20 Aug. 1572) and the founder of the City of Manila on 24 June 1571. In this settlement, he ordered the building of the walled city of Intramuros. Manila is also the capital of the Spanish East Indies in those times.


Being a historic site, San Agustin Church is also among favourite educational field trip destinations of most schools–even those from nearby provinces–as well as a tourist spot. It continues to draw curious crowds from both here and abroad, from the faithful or otherwise, and contributes considerably to Manila’s tourist attractions.


San Agustin Church

Address: General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

Phone: (+63 2) 527-2746 / (+63 2) 527-4052





Author: Expatch Editorial Team

Image source:

Top photo –

New facade –

1614 Archives – Mariano Sayno’s Photojournal
Through My Lens: San Agustin Church and Museum, Intramuros, Manila
San Agustin Museum | Flickr – Photo Sharing!
San Agustin Museum: Manila – ASEAN World Heritage
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi –





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