The Bacarra Bell Tower: the Leaning Tower of the North

Jul 30, 2012

The Bacarra Bell Tower and St. Pedro de Apostle Parish is located at the town of Bacarra and was our first stop on our second day in Ilocos. According to some websites, the locals call it the "Bowing Belltower of Bacarra" and tourists call it "Leaning Tower of the North." According to World Tourist:"The Bacarra Church together with its bell tower were constructed by the Spanish Augustinian Friars in 1593 and subsequently inaugurated in 1782. It was destroyed by the intensity 7.8 earthquake on August 1983 and reconstructed and once again inaugurated in August 1984. The image of the patron saint, San Andres, stands in front of his x-shaped cross in the central niche. The Bacarra Bell Tower is located at the right side of the Roman Catholic Church. It was built in 1830’s and made up of coral blocks and stocco with an original height of fifty (50) meters and a three (3) storey with a wall of five (5) meters thickness. The earthquake wrecked it in 1931, which had caused the top most portions to tilt a little sideward on the right. The bell tower with its unusual elongated cupola, was built during the term of Fray Pedro Berger (1828-1848). It was made to stand a good distance from the church to reduce damage to the later in case the tower buckled during a tremor. Chunks of brick debris, hurtled down during earlier earthquakes practically at the foot of the church."
This side of the church faces the bell tower. It was said to re-rebuilt around the 19th century.  It was also said the church and the bell tower were built through forced labor, a bitter reminder of Spanish occupation. The front of the church.  I guess it was re-painted recently or something because it somehow looks new.  We didn't visit many churches in Ilocos Norte, and this is it, except for the Paoay Church.

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