San Agustin Church – Manila, Philippines - Atlas Obscura

San Agustin Church

The first religious structure on the island of Luzon and a survivor of World War II. 

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Built within the administrative center of the Spanish government, San Agustin church was designed according to the plans approved by the Royal Audencia of Mexico and by a Royal Decree.

The church was built by Juan Macias in 1586 and was completed in 1607. It was renovated in 1854. Inside, a guided pulpit was installed and the altar was adorned with native flora and pineapples as decorative motifs. It served several purposes—as the earliest religious center of the Spanish new colonial outpost in the Philippines.

Manila was severely damaged during World War II. The walled city that was the administrative hub of the Spanish regime was 70% damaged. However, by a stroke of luck, the most important church in the region and the oldest in Luzon was spared and still stands today. 

Know Before You Go

The present structure is the third erected on the site. It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among the few Baroque churches across the Philippines.


The church is accessible before and after mass services on limited hours, but fully accessible with entry to San Agustin Museum/

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April 26, 2024

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