Laguna: Nagcarlan Church

Located in the town of Nagcarlan in the province of Laguna, Nagcarlan Church is a Spanish colonial era church built in the 16th century.

Also called San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church was first built using light materials like nipa and wood in 1583. Father Tomas de Miranda, its first priest, dedicated the church to Saint Bartholomew. Fr. Miranda was also known for introducing the cultivation of wheat in the country. 

Church bell tower

Nagcarlan Church was rebuilt using stone and bricks under the term of Fr. Cristobal Torres in 1752. It was said that the stones and bricks used in building the church was offered by the faithful townspeople.

Facade of the church as seen from the side
The church NHI marker
Sadly, the church was partially destroyed by fire in 1781. It was quickly repaired and a few years later a four storey brick bell tower was added to it. In 1845, the church was further reconstructed using adobe. A choir loft was also added during this time. It was also during this year that the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery was built.

The main retabulo
Nagcarlan Church falls into the category of Baroque style of architecture. The main entrance on the facade has a semicircular arched main entrance along with semicircular windows and tall pedestal columns at the side of its main entrance. The four storey bell tower on the other hand has Muslim inspired crenelations and also has the Franciscan coat of arms.

Church interior
I got the chance to visit this old church after we passed by Nagcarlan Underground cemetery during our Cagbalete Island trip. We got the chance to offer some prayers and wishes during the said visit. I also got the chance to admire each corner of the church and not to mention take photos of it.
Holy water font
Overall, Nagcarlan Church is a perfect place to visit during the Holy Week. It's old facade is well maintained and is perfect for architecture photography. 
The side chapel

Just an additional info, the church was featured in the 1970s movie "Kampanerang Kuba" starring Vilma Santos. It was also used for its teleserye remake featuring Anne Curtis in 2005. 

Getting there:

From Manila, ride a bus going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Get off at Brgy. Pagsawitan in Sta. Cruz (tell the conductor to drop you there) and transfer to a jeepney going to Nagcarlan. It's easy to spot the church once you are in town.


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