Guided Tour of the Historic San Sebastian Basilica (Manila)

Guided Tour of the Historic San Sebastian Basilica (Manila)
Cultural & Theme Tours > Cultural Tours > Cultural Tour
$6
Duration: 60 to 90 mins
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Description

Discover San Sebastian Basilica, the first and only all-metal building in the Philippines, that sits in a quiet pocket of the historic Quiapo district in Manila. A crossroads of history and innovation, the 126-year-old Basilica was constructed by an international village: Belgian steel, German stained windows, a Spanish engineer, and Filipino art students from the turn of the century Philippines artfully transforming the metal interior into a design that stays true to the Gothic Revival style. The guided tour includes access to the church floor, the choir loft, and the hidden spaces not usually accessible to the public, like the attic and the belfries.

Explore to Restore! You can help us fund the long-overdue restoration of this historic building by booking a tour with us!

What to Learn

  • A brief history of the Basilica and the historic Quiapo district, from the arrival of the Augustinian Recollects in the area in 1621 to the inauguration of the all-metal church in 1891
  • The significance of the Basilica, the socio-cultural milieu that surrounds it, and how the Basilica was witness to and emblematic of a great paradigm shift in the turn of the century--in a nation ripe for revolution
  • The current state of San Sebastian Basilica after 126 years and the restoration effort that's trying to conserve this historic building
  • General knowledge and insight into the Basilica especially curated and collected by the restoration team

What to See
  • Stained glass windows by the oldest stained glass company in Germany
  • Gothic Revival architecture
  • All-metal engineering from the Second Industrial Revolution, by a Spanish engineer and steel foundries in Belgium
  • Wall and figural paintings by Filipino students and masters like Lorenzo Rocha, sabelo Tampinco, Lorenzo Guerrero, and Felix Martinez (the Father of Philippine Realism)
  • The hidden spaces--the attics, the ceilings, and the bell towers
  • A view of Manila from what used to be the highest point in the entire city

General Flow of the Regular Tours
We'll tell you all about the history of San Sebastian Basilica, and the hows and whys such an architectural feat touched Philippine shores and became a unique part of the landscape of colonial Manila.
  • Meet-up at the front doors of the Basilica
  • Explore the interior hall 
  • Go up to the choir loft 
  • Go up to the attics - climb the original wrought-iron spiral staircases, not usually accessible to the public!
  • See beyond the vaulted ceilings - the unique feature of the Basilica you'd sooner expect from a ship than a church!
  • Climb to the bell towers 
  • Finish the tour at the merchandise shop

Join-In Tour
  • Schedule: Every Saturday of the month*, 10:00AM - 11:30AM
  • Duration: 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Inclusions: one (1) bottled water, and (1) souvenir per guest
*Except for blocked-off dates.

Private Tour (minimum 10 people to book)
  • Schedule: Available upon request from Mondays to Fridays, flexible schedule for the mornings of those days
  • Duration: 1 hour to 1 hour, 30minutes
  • Inclusions: one (1) bottled water, and (1) souvenir per guest

Discover San Sebastian Basilica, the first and only all-metal building in the Philippines, that sits in a quiet pocket of the historic Quiapo district in Manila. A crossroads of history and innovation, the 126-year-old Basilica was constructed by an international village: Belgian steel, German stained windows, a Spanish engineer, and Filipino art students from the turn of the century Philippines artfully transforming the metal interior into a design that stays true to the Gothic Revival style. The guided tour includes access to the church floor, the choir loft, and the hidden spaces not usually accessible to the public, like the attic and the belfries.

Explore to Restore! You can help us fund the long-overdue restoration of this historic building by booking a tour with us!