Then and Now – Binondo Church (Part 1 of 2)
Posted by BCS on October 3, 2008
The present day Binondo Church, otherwise known as the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz (and also known as the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish), was originally built in 1740 (the construction of which took some nine years) after the old church that stood on its site was demolished to make way for a new one.
However, the bell tower (or at least part of it) that we see today is no longer the one from that period since the earlier one collapsed in an earthquake in 1848.
According to the book “Three Centuries of Binondo Architecture” (De Viana, 2001, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House), the “oval dome” that replaced the earlier octagonal dome (in 1781) was embedded with the relics of San Pedro (the Apostle?), San Felipe, and Santa Sotera.
I couldn’t help but wonder if this is still the dome that we see today because, I know, for a fact that the Binondo Church had, over time, undergone countless repairs and renovations.
One of which I have witnessed personally several years ago (kinda makes it sound like I’m really old). I remember seeing a sign on the church’s façade encouraging people to “donate” adobe blocks for its renovation. I can’t remember for sure what year that was, though.
The church has a long and colorful history which dates back to the 16th Century. I’ve read somewhere that one of the many notable events surrounding it was the first marriage of Andres Bonifacio and Gregoria “Oryang” de Jesus in 1895 (the second one was held at the Sta. Cruz Church)… is there anyone out there who can shed more light on this event?
Note (on the use of the old photograph contained herein):
From the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections website (where I got the old photograph from):
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