Jan 11, 2019

Daraga Church: Albays Architectural Gem


A beautiful and rustic church, perched on top of the hill in Albay, Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church commonly known as Daraga Church built by the Franciscans in 1772 under the patronage of the Our Lady of the Gate. Certain church sections were declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines in 2007. The design of the Daraga Church can be described as a blend of architectural styles: Renaissance Gothic and Mexican baroque and  was supposedly built by the women (thus the name "Daraga" which means Lady/Single Woman). The facade was carefully carved from volcanic stones and some distinct  features of the Daraga Church facade include four spiral columns with medallions at the center of each column bearing images of the four Evangelists. One of the best location to see Mayon's beauty and grandeur.

Getting here

From Legazpi City: Ride a jeep marked ‘Daraga-Legazpi’. Alight at the Daraga Municipal Hall. A staircase at the right of the Municipal Hall will take you to the church.


The church facade and the majestic Mayon
The arch over the entrance has an inscription in Latin which reads, "Bene fundata est domus Domini supra firmam petram" (Well founded is the house of the Lord on firm rock)
 
 

A simple and perfect interior with natural lightning

What a spectacular view!
Restoration had been completed. Exposure to the elements for more than 230 years has eroded the architectural details of the facade made from blocks of volcanic rock. A lime coating was applied which is meant to save the church for future generations although it obliterated the famous ‘old world’ look temporarily. The protective coat will enhance and protect the structure and in a year’s time the church facade will return to its original look. Today, the church is one of the most visited destinations in the province of Albay and a good location to see Mayon.


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