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“The most unique and amazing religious edifice in Metro Manila!”

San Sebastian Church
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US$6.00*
and up
Guided Tour of the Historic San Sebastian Basilica (Manila)
Ranked #22 of 145 things to do in Manila
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 18 April 2014

The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, or simply, San Sebastian Church, has captured the imagination of many people due to its being made of steel and its Gothic Revival architecture, making it perhaps the most unique and amazing religious edifice in Metro Manila.

Upon seeing it for the first time, one is struck by the vertical emphasis of the structure - a product of its Gothic style - which sets it apart from most Philippine churches. The baby-blue color also makes it stand out from the squalor of Manila. Fronted by an irregularly-shaped plaza, it dominates the surrounding buildings.

The interior is rather dark, which is an advantage because it allows the stained-glass windows to shine better. The pillars soar skywards, blossoming into the vaults - all of which are made of steel painted to resemble jasper. The height of the nave again sets San Sebastian apart from most other churches in the Philippines, and gives it a European feel. The nave focuses on the high altar, with an image of Saint Sebastian tied to a pole. The flooring is a checkerboard of black and white tiles. All over the walls are the stained glass windows, of high quality and done in vivid colors.

It is disheartening, though, to see rust in some of the pillars and walls. Despite the use of steel - which made the building earthquake resistant - the salt-laden winds from Manila Bay is fast corroding the unique structure. Restoration and stabilization of the century-old steel structure is urgently needed.

Outside it was dirty! It was Visita Iglesia, and the hordes of churchgoers and pilgrims have left the plaza and streets outside the church littered - but this doesn't subtract from the church's beauty.

A must-see for any Manila visitor!

2  Thank Ermaximum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"eiffel tower"
in 6 reviews
"steel structure"
in 4 reviews
"statue of liberty"
in 4 reviews
"historical landmark"
in 6 reviews
"restoration project"
in 2 reviews
"minor basilica"
in 3 reviews
"stained glass"
in 2 reviews
"visiting manila"
in 3 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 4 reviews
"metro manila"
in 2 reviews
"gothic"
in 7 reviews
"asia"
in 13 reviews
"wedding"
in 10 reviews
"nave"
in 3 reviews
"architecture"
in 7 reviews
"gustav"
in 3 reviews
"majore"
in 2 reviews
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45 - 49 of 117 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2014

ya it was nice to be there . we were with family and liked the church from inside .felt religious and peaceful

2  Thank heenaloyal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

An imposing church, only all-steel church in asia.

Some time ago, I thought it was just one of those big old churches famous for some reason, a bit more research though, it was a lot more than that.

Some of the bits inside definitely need a bit of restoration. One has to marvel at the craftsmanship put into building of this church. It must have been a real sight to behold when it was still new.

2  Thank RMRTKCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

This church reminds me of my high school life. this is where we held our bacalaureate mass way back high school. The church is very solemn perfect place to talk to god.

1  Thank Alvin Micko S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 December 2013 via mobile

Very old church but it definitely need some restorations to see the old historical things. Compared to other religious historical places in the world it's not so special. But since Manila doesn't have so many attractions it's a place to visit.

2  Thank Perspective B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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