Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!
Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
San Sebastian Church: Manila's Unique All-Steel Church and Gustav Eiffel
So much has been posted and written on this unique structure, so many cameras clicked their shutters to capture the beauty that is San Sebastian Church, officially called Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, one of the Philippines' minor basilicas but many of them still doubt one thing: that the structure shares something in common with the famous tower in Paris as well the precursor of Ayala Bridge.
the magnificent gothic facade of San Sebastian Church
the lit up altar with a wedding taking place. It's such a popular wedding venue
the dark interiors,taken without a tripod and a canon kitlens. The huge columns and interiors were made to look like marble but actually made of steel to make the structure resistant to earthquakes Stained glass windows were made by Germans
Gothic look of the adjacent building part of Baste, colloquial term of students of the College of San Sebastian
ceiling paintings done using trompe l'oeil technique to make them look 3-dimensional similar to the ceiling paintings of San Agustin Church in Intramuros
even the confessionals sported the Gothic look but designed by Filipinos
San Sebastian was elevated to the status of a minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII in 1890.
On the claim of Gustave Eiffel link, according to noted scholar and pop historian Ambeth Ocampo, San Sebastian Church was "bought from the Eiffel company. the handful of bridges--like the ayala bridge--built at the tail end of the Spanish period, were called "puente Eiffel." In Eiffels' list of work there is mention of an all steel-church in Manila...what else is that but San Sebastian?"
There you go, friends, who still insist there's no link between Eiffel and San Sebastian Church.
The basilica is a declared National Historical Landmark and tentatively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its heritage and historic value.
Basilica Minore de San Sebastian-- commissioned by the Spaniards, structure designed by a French, constructed by Belgians, stained glass windows by Germans, interiors by Filipinos--a heritage landmark in the Philippines!
Pope Leo XIII was also the pope during much of Jose Rizal's time and had no hand in Rizal's retraction and later death
You may refer to Tutubi's post on Grand Bridges of Pasig River for Philippine history link with the famous builder of world-renowned Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
How to get to San Sebastian Church, Quiapo, Manila
Commute: MRT Shaw Blvd Station or Pasig Shaw Blvd, Quiapo-bound jeepneys pass by Legarda, cross Recto and Mendiola. Drop off on the first road after Recto i.e. San Rafael from where the Basilica can be seen with its spire towering over Plaza del Carmen.
From LRT Doroteo Jose Station, board a jeep bound for Sta Mesa on C.M. Recto. Alight before reaching Mendiola then walk towards Ayala Bridge then turn right on San Rafael St.
From Quiapo, Jeeps bound for San Miguel, Pasig, Bacood, Punta, Cubao (via Sta. Mesa) all pass near the place. Be careful with Lealtad and Balic-balic-bound jeeps. Not all of them pass Plaza del Carmen, only those with Bustillos signboards do.
By Car: from Makati, make your way to Ayala Bridge drive past P. Casal then make a left turn at the corner of San Rafael St (the church's spire is too visible not to be seen)
By Car from Quezon City, the easiest route is via C3 then Ramon Magsaysay heading to Nagtahan. Take J.P. Laurel St instead of Legarda to avoid usual heavy traffic, at the fork, choose right Concepcion Aguila then right turn to Mendiola, left to Legarda then right San Rafael St.
That Church wass so memorable to me because it provided solace when I was stressed out. I took my law review class in Baste in 2006 and I happen to pass that Church at the back of Baste almost everyday. Thank you for posting this. It brought back very good memories.