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PARISH CHURCH OF NUESTRA SENORA DE LA PORTERIA

IT'S ART

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STAFF, ORGANIZATIONS May 7, 2005 to present
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The Daraga church can be described as a hybrid of architectural styles.  Evident from the fašade and side gate is the quaint mixture of Renaissance Gothic and Mexican Baroque, which distinguishes it from most other churches, built in colonial Philippines. Alicia M.L. Coseteng, in her book Spanish Churches in the Philippines, has this to day about its architecture:  The friars wanted to build a beautiful church...in a style that would incorporate the best of the Gothic and Renaissance.  But in this they were frustrated, since the masons and craftsman were unable to execute their intention in stone.  Instead, much to their disappointment, the church turned out to be rather crude and primitive in style.

 

Apparently, the frustrations of the friars turned out to be the fulfillment of the Filipino masons and craftsmen. For there is no question that indigenous Baroque has achieved its fullest expression on the fašade of the church. Before it one is amazed at the outpouring of skill, imagination and feeling in the spectacular display of splendor.  Indeed, the crude stone structure has been transformed by Filipino artisan into a piece of architecture of dazzling beauty: rich, warm, its extravagance tempered with a sense of spontaneity.

The four spiral columns (architecturally called salomonica) that stand out remarkably in its fašade make the Daraga church unique among all the churches in the Philippines.  Daraga says Mrs. Coseteng, is the only surviving church in the country today which has adapted the salomonica columns, the hallmark of the baroque in the colonial churches of Spanish-AmericaThe twisting spiraling columns reinforce the complexity of the design and the beguiling, dynamic movement of the fašade.

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