the world as I see it

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.


Binondo Church in 1899 - Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/)

Binondo Church as it is today (Photo taken on September 27, 2008)

Binondo Church as it is today (Photo taken on September 27, 2008)

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.

Marker on the church façade (Photo taken on September 21, 2008)

Marker on the church façade (Photo taken on September 21, 2008)

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):

“The University of Wisconsin Libraries generally do not own the copyrights to materials in their print and electronic collections. Consistent with their public university mission, the Libraries encourage the use of content in these collections for study, research, and teaching.

“Most works published after 1923 are protected by U. S. and international copyright laws. The publications of the United States government are not copyrightable and may be freely copied and/or re-published.

“Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law.

“Copyright in the compilation, electronic format, and descriptive material for the digital collections created by the University of Wisconsin Libraries is retained by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Copyrights for individual items and images in the UW Digital Collections may be owned by other individuals, publishers, or institutions.”


7 Responses to “Then and Now – Binondo Church (Part 1 of 2)”

  1. Wow love the then and now pictures… thanks for the memories.

  2. BCS said

    My pleasure, Mario. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. There’s more to come, by the way, if you’re interested. 🙂

  3. More, please!

  4. BCS said

    Hahaha! Will do Señor Enrique… will do. 🙂

  5. […] Ruiz (a.k.a. Plaza de Binondo, a.k.a. Plaza Calderon de la Barca) as seen from the bell tower of Binondo Church. The bridge in the photo (upper left) is commonly known as the Binondo Bridge which spans the […]

  6. … i just realized the renovator/s used red bricks in the body of the bell tower… that makes the obvious difference from your old picture.

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