Naga City has plenty of incredible sights to offer travelers, but none are quite as glorious as its array of beautiful churches. The stunning architecture and rich histories of the buildings provide wonderful insight in the culture and religion of the region.
Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia
The Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia is one of the largest Marian pilgrimage sites in the world and the only minor basilica in the Bicol region. As one of the more recently built churches in the city, it doesn’t have quite as interesting architecture as some of the others; however, the inside does hold an image of the Virgin Mary sculpted in 1710.
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
The Naga Metropolitan Cathedral was originally constructed in 1595, but was rebuilt in 1843 after it was destroyed by fire in the 1700s. It features Spanish Romanesque Revival-style architecture and is one of the oldest churches in the country. The inside holds up to 2,300 people at once, and is held up with impressive columns meant to withstand an earthquake.
San Francisco Church
The San Francisco Church was originally built in the 1700s and has a storied history. It served as both a refuge for people during the Filipino-Spanish War, as well as a torture chamber of sorts. Nowadays, it serves as a place of worship for the locals and an inspiring work of art due in large part to the incredible Bell Tower looming behind the entrance.
Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine
Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine was built in 1750 and much of the original structure remains intact, though there has been quite a bit of work done throughout the years. The real draw here is artwork adorning the ceiling. The long, narrow hall houses incredible works of art, though you have to crane your neck to see them all.
The St. Anthony of Padua Church
The St. Anthony of Padua Church is actually outside of Naga City in nearby Camaligan, but well worth the trip. The focal point of the small town, this church has stood for an impressive 157 years with few renovations. The foundations and walls are still comprised of the original materials, giving a great glimpse into architecture of the previous century.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
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