Located in Tayabas City, the Minor Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel is the biggest Roman Catholic Church in the entire Province of Quezon. Tourists who visits Tayabas, whether secular or Catholic, come to see this uniquely designed Basilica that was constructed during the Spanish colonial era. Built in the year 1585, the church is famous for its longest isle and huge century old church bells.
St. Michael the Archangel (courtesy of Wikimedia)
The local people in Tayabas called it the Susi ng Tayabas because of its key shaped blueprint. The same as most old structures in the region, the church was originally built with soft materials that are indigenous to the area. However, in 1590 the church underwent renovations that were supervised by St. Pedro Bautista, and designed after St. Michael the Archangel.
Facade of St. Michael The Archangel Minor Basilica
Later, in 1600 the church was once again rebuilt, this time using bricks. Unfortunately, in 1743 a major earthquake destroyed the church. Over the years the Basilica was repaired several more times, added to, and transformed. However, even through all that history, it remains one of the most captivating Catholic churches in the Philippines. In 1988 Pope John Paul III conferred the title Minor Basilica, a fact that would be proclaimed in the beginning of 1989.
Franciscan Seal – This a symbol of Francican frays who lead the parish on the hispanic era. Thi symbolizes the unity of Christ and San Francisco de Asis. The seal can be found in wall of the basilica fronting the alitao river.
This Basilica is most famous for its key shaped architecture, and of course for the Church clock that is found on the belfry and thought to be one of, if not the oldest in all of Asia. This clock was installed during the 18th century and is half a metre high, and 42 centimetres wide. The long hand on the clock measures a half metre, while the short hand measures 62 centimetres.
Inside the Basilica
Giant Church Bell
The clock tolls a giant bell, marking the time every hour and a half. In 1971 parishioners, along with Monsignor Gregorio Salvatus, who were all concerned about the ill repair of the clock, took on a project to rehabilitate the age-old clock.
Circa 1966 Photo of Tayabas Church
While there have been many changes over the years, there are still many portions of the original church that can be seen. Catholics lead pilgrimages to this Basilica year after year, and many believe it is the most amazing Catholic Church they have ever seen, with good reason.
No matter what religious background you come from, this stunning and historical Church is a wonderful place to visit while in Quezon. A walking tour through the Basilica and the gorgeous grounds can be a very reverent experience, especially for devout Catholics from different parts of the country.