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Quiapo Church, Manila Overview

Canonically known as Parish of Saint John the Baptist, Quiapo Church, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene is a prominent Catholic Church situated on the Quezon Blvd in the district of Quiapo in Metro Manila, Philippines. The church houses the famous Black Nazarene- the black life sized statue of Jesus Christ kneeling and carrying the cross. The statue is supposed to be miraculous and is the reason why the church is equally visited by tourists and believers. The statue is believed to be first bought here in 1767, however, the church was reconstructed in 1933 after it was destroyed by the fire once.

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Festivals at the Quiapo Church

Feast of the Black Nazarene is the biggest cultural event at the church where thousands of devotees from across the country and beyond flock to the church. The revered image of Christ is carried out on the shoulders of the devotees followed by a grand procession. The festival is celebrated on the 9th of January and it is believed that participating in the processional can rid you of any sins or shady deals done in the past year. The church also hosts a novena every Friday, which is also a big gathering. Thousands of devotees attend the prayer meeting.

Black Nazarene at Quiapo Church

The Black Nazarene is the principle structure at the church which is a black statue of Jesus Christ in a kneeling posture and holding a cross. The life sized structure stands tall at a height of 5’ 5’’ and is dressed in a royal red embroidered tunic with lace and ribbons. The left hand carries the golden loops and the balls while the right one has the cross itself which is 6’ 0’’ high. The statue has been carved in a wooden and ivory structure.

Architecture of Quiapo Church

Boasting of Baroque style architecture, the church has a facade with unique twisted columns. The belfries are decorated with scrolls and have balustrades. The semicircular tympanum has two chalice shaped finials. There are also quatrefoil windows to adorn the church. However, presently, only the facade and the dome retain the original classical designs.

History of the Quiapo Church

The original building of the Quiapo Church was constructed in 1586 by Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic church. The structure was constructed in bamboo frames which was thatched out of nipa palm. Unfortunately, in 1639, the church was burnt down in a massive fire. Another church was soon reconstructed at the same site, however, that was also destroyed in the 1863 earthquake. Again, the building was built from scratch in 1899 but as was the turn of events, that it was again caught by fire in 1928, just five decades later. The final and the current church was finally built in the Baroque style of architecture in 1933. To this church, some modifications were made in 1984.

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