Makati is full of historic churches and other buildings that are throwbacks on its Spanish colonial heritage. The Guadalupe Ruins originally called Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe or Our Lady of Guadalupe was part of a monastic complex started by Augustinian friars in the early 17th century. The church itself was consecrated in 1626. Originally the church was an impressive structure with a distinctive bell tower and massive buttresses to support a magnificent vaulted roof. Its interior though plain was really majestic. Doric columns graced its arched main entrance and front façade. The whole structure and surrounding walls were dressed in adobe stones. The quarry from which rock was excavated for the foundations of the structures is still discernible.
Built in a classical monolithic style free from ornamentation, it is still an impressive structure today as the day it was consecrated back in the 17th century. The church located in what was then known as San Pedro de Macati had several setbacks. It was affected by uprisings and wars in the 18th and early 19th centuries and suffered structural damage in an earthquake in 1880 after which it had to be reconstructed. Then it was the site of a fierce battle between US and Filipino troops during the Battle of Guadalupe Church in 1899 during the Philippine – American War. It was destroyed in a fire when it was fired upon by US troops.
The church was again used for purposes other than for which it was built during WWII when the Japanese used the ruins as a garrison. The final indignity was when its adobe stones were used in the 1950s to reconstruct Manila Cathedral. The damaged caused was made good when the entire monastic complex was extensively renovated in the 1970s and opened to the public in the early 1980s. The interior and the façade was redesigned and although it still features a vaulted ceiling it is now not on a lofty scale. Interestingly the weathered exterior has been maintained giving it an antique look. Once again a popular place of worship it is very much a part of the lives of the people of modern Makati and is a much visited feature on city’s historic trail.
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