Baclayon Church

BACLAYON CHURCH

The Baclayon Church is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Baclayon. It is formally called the Church of Immaculate Conception. Its construction started in 1717 elevated as a parish on the same year. It took 200 obras pias or native forced laborers to drag coral stones from the sea, and egg whites from millions of eggs used as cement to build the magnificent structure. The present coral stone church was completed in 1727.

The church was founded by the first Spanish missionaries in the region, Jesuit priests Juan Torres and Gabriel Sanchez, when they first settled in Baclayon in 1596. There was no proper establishment available to conduct their missionary activities when they landed. They were able to convince the locals to build a church. That church became the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. After completion of the building in 1727, an adjoining but separate tower was started under the supervision of the Jesuits, but was completed during the administration of the recollects in 1777. A large bell was added in 1835. And in 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and stone buildings that surround the church.

In October 2013, the church was heavily damaged by a magnitude 7.2 strong earthquake. The church’s facade collapsed to the ground, as well as the bell tower. The church has not been used for official church meetings after the destruction, but the government conducted rehabilitation to restore the old building. It was reopened to the church-goers on February 27, 2018 after being closed for more than 4 years.

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