Travelog: Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal, Batangas)Sunday, September 02, 2012
As a road tripper, being in a road trip and visiting a nearby town is really an exciting things to do. Visiting places rich in history is a great experience where I’ve learned something from them; to know the history beyond the places I’ve visited. I remembered during our educational field trip way back in elementary and high school days wherein we’ve been visited historical places, but during at that age, what I have in mind was I am just having fun and I never mind what my teachers said. But now, as I grow older, I realized that there are so many places in the Philippines that are worth visiting, where there’s no amount of money can ever be compared on these little pleasures and yet rich experience I have as I travelled. Thus, I must conclude that, travelling is fulfilling.
Last month of July, the road trippers went to Batangas to experience the San Juan and Lechon Festival (to be posted soon). And as a side trip, going back home we’ve tried to at least visit some of the historical and old churches along the way. One of them is the Basilica de San Martin de Tours.
Basilica de San Martin de Tours is located in the town of Taal, Batangas considered to be the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia. Standing 96 metres long and 45 meteres wide, is the patron saint of Taal who’s fiesta is celebrated every 11th day of the November.
In 1575, construction of the church was started by Father Diego Espinar with Saint Martin of Tours as patron saint. It was then rebuilt in 1642 using stronger materials. However, in 1754, the church was destroyed along with the Town of Taal in the largest eruption of the Taal volcano. It was then that the town anf church were transferred further away from the volcano to its present site, which is elevated hill facing Balayan Bay. But still, the ruins of the previous church can be seen in San Nicolas, Batangas.
Father Martin Aguirre donated the land and began the construction of the new church in 1755. Then continued by Fr. Gabriel Rodriguez in 1777 and by Fr. Jose Vitoria in 1782. Fr. Ramon del Marco decorated the church, built the convent and paved the “processional” roa with bricks around the atrium, of the parochial building.
Taal Basilica’s bell also considered as one the largest bell in the country. This massive instrument is 5.8 meters in circumference at the lip, 2.84 meters around the crown and 1.96 meters in height. However, in 1942, the belfry collapsed and bell fell from its location damaging and silencing it because of the earthquake. The king of the bell, as it was known before, is now hanging silently in its previous place on the restored dome.
Magnificent structure like Basilica de San Martin de Tours would be a romantic church for your wedding day. Ahhh.. Daydreaming again! Ha-ha.
That’s it, more blog post to come about my road trips. See you soon.