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Albay: Daraga Church

Located in the municipality of Daraga in the province of Albay, Daraga Church is the crowning glory of religious architecture in Albay.

Daraga Church is also known as the Our Lady of the Gate Church. It was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum on October 29, 2007.
National historical marker
Church facade
The bell tower
My wife and daughter
The church was built by Franciscan missionaries in Daraga which was then a barrio  of the older town of Cagsawa. However, after Mayon Volcano's 1814 eruption which buried majority of the town of Cagsawa,  survivors relocated to Daraga. The barrio was then formally organized as a town in 1815. Afterwards, the town became the center of trade and commerce in the province of Albay.
A view of Mayon from inside the church
Church interior
The baptismal area
Saint's hall
Daraga Church is described as having a blend of Renaissance Gothic and Mexican baroque. It's most famous feature, the facade, as carefully carved from volcanic stones. The facade was intrinsically designed and decorated, as a matter of fact it has features like the spiral columns with medallions. Each of these columns bear images of four Evangelists. aside from that you'd see the coat of arms of the Franciscan order and the image of the Our Lady of the Gate. Like the facade the bell tower is also made from volcanic rocks.

What I like about this church is its picturesque nature. I'd like to put it this way... Whenever I take pictures of the church it's like hitting two birds with one stone. What I mean by this is that aside from the beautiful architectural design of the church, I also get to take a landscape picture of Mayon's almost perfect cone -all in one picture. If you want to experience this "dramatic shot", visit the church early in the morning. preferably in summer, when there are only a few clouds that covers the volcano. 
Tried some editing app

Getting there:

Ride a bus heading to Legazpi City. Inform the conductor to drop you off at Daraga near the church. Once there, you can either walk up the church or ride a tricycle.

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