San Sebastian Church


What comes into your mind when you hear the word, gothic? isn’t it dark?, evil? Something that’s scary? Well as for me, the thing comes into my mind when I hear that word is, “HARRY POTTER!!”

For me, gothic or gothic is something that is magical, something that deals with witchcraft, where witches and wizards uses broom sticks for transportation, and they possesses wands that can attack you with dark magic or turn you into smaller creatures, invisible cloaks and many more. When it comes to their fashion in clothing, with long dark robes and pointed hats. They really look like they are from the underworld, that has a mission to destroy humanity, and take over the world. We’ll, that’s what gothic is for me. But, what is the exact definition of the word gothic?

The term Gothic was first used during the later Renaissance , and as a term of contempt. Says Vasari, “Then arose new architects who after the manner of their barbarous nations erected buildings in that style which we call Gothic”, while Evelyn but expresses the mental attitude of his own time when he writes, “The ancient Greek and Roman architecture answered all the perfections required in a faultless and accomplished building” — but the Goths and Vandals destroyed these and “introduced in their stead a certain fantastical and licentious manner of building: congestions of heavy, dark, melancholy, monkish piles, without any just proportion, use or beauty.”

Gothic vs. Romanesque

Gothic cathedrals have many more windows, and much bigger windows, and so they are not dark like Romanesque churches. This is because the architects have learned some new ways of making roofs and of supporting walls, especially the groin vault and the flying.

Gothic churches are also usually bigger than Romanesque churches. By 1200AD, people had more money available, and they could afford to spend more on building great churches. And, where many Romanesque churches had wooden roofs (which were always catching fire), Gothic churches had safer stone roofs.

The Gothic architecture was designed of fantastical and licentious manner of building: congestions of heavy, dark, melancholy, monkish piles, without any just proportion, use or beauty.

I enjoyed going out and look for the churches that we’ve learned from our history subject. Going anywhere like inSan Sebastianis so hassle and tired because we don’t know what a perfect day for us to go there.

San Sebastian church

The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, better known as San SebastianChurch, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Manila, the Philippines. It is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. 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. The main altar and pulpit are made of wood and trimmed with gold leaf. Equally impressive are the huge fonts that hold holy water for the ritual benediction.

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 stained glass windows commissioned from Germany are finely crafted and well maintained has remained expressive and original through the years.

the rose window inside the church. reflected by the lights.

the rose window exterior of the church.

the dome.

front and left side view of the church.

As San Sebastian Church remains the only steel church in Asia and probably the only large steel church in the world its survival is still the main point.

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.


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