The San Agustin Church is one of the old buildings located inside the walls of Intramuros
. It was founded by the Augustinians and was constructed between the years 1587 and 1604.
The building has survived wars, including the Manila-liberating war between the Americans and Japanese that destroyed the walls of Intramuros and almost every structure inside it. It has also survived natural forces like major earthquakes that turn even the tallest buildings into ruble.
The church, designed with Spanish Baroque architectural style, is the first European church to be made of stone ever built in the Philippines
. The San Agustin Church is home to countless historical artifacts in itself. It has been in existence during the earliest parts of the formation of the Philippines history and culture. Because if its role in history, the church itself can be considered a historical artifact.
Inside the church is a beautiful ceiling designed using the Trompe-l'œil art technique, which involves a very extreme realistic imagery that creates the optical illusion that objects depicted are not just paintings but that they really exist. Even the seats in the San Agustin Church are hand-craved and made of a beautiful hardwood that grows only in the tropics called Molave.
Underneath the church, is a tomb, where the remains of some of the significant Spanish men during the formation of the Philippine history lay buried. Among these people is Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador who was responsible for the establishment of the first colony in the Philippines. Among other conquistadors buried under the San Agustin Church are Martin de Goiti who led when Legazpi ordered the expedition to Manila and Legazpi's grandson Juan de Salcedo.
However old it may be, the façade of the San Agustin Church is an attraction in itself. The Baroque style used in its structure and the pristine grandeur of the furniture inside the church are details that should definitely not be taken for granted. If you will take your first step inside the church, your will that the San Agustin Church is a creative production set for a movie!
The Church, being a house of worship is very peaceful and solemn in Nature. This beautiful place will definitely inspire you to reflect on life and whatever else you have on your minds. The San Agustin Church is a sanctuary that will give you the comfort and peace you have been looking for, even if only for a few minutes.
The tomb underneath the San Agustin Church is another attraction that people, who are sure they will not be easily spooked, can visit. The tomb may be a little scary, but it is also full of stories to tell.
The Augustinian order is also running a museum close to the San Agustin Church. The museum showcases religious icons and paintings and colonial furniture and antique vestments. Also in the vicinity is Father Blanco's beautiful garden also perfect for reflection or for just simply admiring the whole church and garden.