Naga City Visita Iglesia Adventure

If you're planning to go on a pilgrimage or Visita Iglesia this Holy Week, then the best place to go to is the Pilgrim City itself. Naga City prides itself as the Heart of Bicol due to its location in the region. The city is also called Pilgrim City because it is home to the largest Marian pilgrimage in Asia which is the Our Lady of Penafrancia.

This Visita Iglesia Adventure in Naga City  was part of the Bicol Road Trip that my family undertook last 2014. During our two-day stay in the city, we managed to visit most of its religious structures.
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
Since we stayed in Nagaland Hotel during our trip, the closest and first church we visited was the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. It is also called as Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and informally as the Naga Cathedral. It is a Romanesque Baroque structure made from coral stones and bricks that was built in 1575 and finished 1579.
Stained Glass decoration of the rotunda
Just in front of the church is a beautifully decorated rotunda.
Porta Mariae

A few meters away is the newly built Porta Mariae. You wont miss it because of it's grandeur.

Walking back to the direction of our hotel, we visited and gave respect to Jorge Barlin in Plaza Barlin which is just a few meters away from our next destination. Jorge Barlin is the first Filipino Bishop in the Catholic Church. He is also a son of the province of Camarines Sur 
San Francisco Church
Our next stop was the San Francisco Church. It is located several meters away from Nagaland Hotel and Plaza Barlin. The church is one of the Spanish era churches in the city. It was built sometime in the 17th century.
Penafrancia Basilica Minore
Since it was getting dark already and the other churches are quite far from where we are, we decided to call it a night and just continue our Visita Iglesia the next day. Our first church during the second day of pilgrimage is the Penafrancia Basilica Minore. It is not a Spanish Era church and was built a few decades ago but it houses the image of Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia -the Marian image which has millions of devotees.
Penafrancia Shrine
Our last pilgrimage site before leaving Naga City is the Penafrancia Shrine. It is the original home of Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia before the image was transferred to the much bigger basilica minore. The shrine was built in 1710 and was finished in 1750. 

Since Naga City is just part of our road trip we could have two Visita Iglesias this year... the first is in Naga City and the next one is in Albay... Well as they say, the more the merrier! 

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