Aug 30, 2012
This centuries old 45-meter tall bell tower built by the Augustinian Friars in 1612 is one of the tallest and most massive in the country.
The construction is typical of the earthquake baroque structures found in Ilocos. Built of old brick and stone-faced with lime stucco plaster, the tower rises in four tiers. The base with is massive rounded corners supports the graduated upper tiers noted for its graceful curved buttresses and corner treatments, giving it its early baroque appearance. The tower is crowned by a double dome topped with a cross.
Access to the top is through a vaulted tunnel leading to a winding wooden stairway. At the top are 6 bells of different sizes. A big bell on the third tier when rung can be heard in nearby towns.
Tales by old people mention that a person on a horseback once could enter its vaulted entrance without stopping. Now, a person of ordinary height has to stoop to enter through the tower door, becaus the tower has sunk considerably and evenly, thus its reputation as “The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag”.