Bicol’s oldest church built in 1874 by a Spanish friar from the Franciscan order.
It is a huge Baroque-style dome-like structure. The thick stone walls of the church including its bell tower are original. The walls are made of coral rocks without the use of cement or steel bars. The windows are built high and wide for the purpose of giving light and ventilation to the parishioners.
Alas the recent inside renovation is too modern looking and the stained glass windows were added in 2003.
Fronting the church, facing the sea, are the ruins of a stone structure that was then known as the casa tribunal and baluarte. During the Spanish period the construction of stone structures used beaten egg whites mixed with tuba, the native coconut wine, and lime as binder. The huge slabs of stones were taken from the sea and arranged on top of each other to create a wall.
According to legend the place was called Barcelona by homesick Spaniards because the place reminded them of Barcelona in Spain.
Where: Near Sorsogon City. Barcelona is in between the villages of Gubat and Layog.
My rating: 7/10. Beautiful old church. Not far from Rizal Beach (one of the best beaches in the neighbourhood) and on the way to Bulusan Lake and Volcano.
Info from: My Sarisari Store
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