The Church of San Sebastian was raised into the status of a minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII on June 24, 1890. The following year, on August 15, 1891, the all-steel church of San Sebastian was inaugurated and blessed. The interior of the church displays groined vaults just like what a Gothic architecture should be, the steel parts of columns, walls and ceiling were painted to resemble marble and jasper by Filipino artist Lorenzo Rocha and his students. True to the Gothic revival spirit of the church are its confessionals, pulpit and altars as designed by Filipino artist Lorenzo Guerrero. He, with fellow artist Eulogio Garcia, carved the statues of holy men and women. Trompe l’oeil paintings was used to decorate the interiors of the church.
As a wedding church, it exudes the magnificence of the old-world church gothic church. The high ceiling, long aisle and towering columns is reminiscent of the beautiful Westminster Abbey. The Church of San Sebastian is a reflection of the late 19th century innovations in architecture, art and construction.
The Church of San Sebastian is a declared National Historical Landmark per Presidential Decree No. 260. State funding was accorded to the church through the National Historical Institute which undertook restoration of the church since 1982. The Recollect community has likewise expended funds for the church’s maintenance and restoration. In addition, the church was listed among the 1998 World’s Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Watch.
Minor Basilica of San Sebastian
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine
Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila
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