Baclayon Church or to give it the proper title “The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception”, is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
The Church dominates the surrounding landscape, a large tower at the front of the building served a duel purpose as both Bell and Watch Tower.
Constructed out of coral cut by local artisans into square blocks. It is said that the whites of a million eggs were mixed with lime to cement the coral stones together. I am not sure who counted the eggs but the mixture seemed to do an excellent job.
The inner facade of the church is Classically inspired, while the outer facade dates to the early 1900’s, added by the Recollects is a portico decorated by three arches.
Annexed to the Church is the museum, housing historical religious artifacts and antiquities, dating back to the 16th century. The building is a great example of Colonial Spanish design and while a little rickety in places, seems to have withstood the test of time. Please note taking of pictures inside the museum is not allowed.
The church does not date back to 1595 as often claimed. The Philippines Heritage Conservation Society issued the following statement on this matter:
Despite claims that the present stone church in Baclayon is the oldest in the Philippines, evidence places the construction of the church to 1727. The belief that the church was built in 1595 may have come because of a 19th century report by the Recollects that the mission was founded in 1595; but the same report lists two other dates 1593 and 1594. The date 1595 inscribed on the church facade is a later addition
Baclayon Church is included on our Fantastic Bohol Day Tour