Basilica of San Sebastian Church
San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features, it is the only all-steel church in the Philippines,This place is definitely worth a visit for history buffs and those who appreciate beautiful churches / architecture.The only church in Asia made out of steel.
The Basílica Menor de San Sebastián, better known as San Sebastian Church, is a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church in Manila, Philippines. It is the church of the parish of San Sebastian.
Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its architecture. An example of the Gothic Revival architecture in the Philippines, it is the only steel building church in the Philippines. It was designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1973 and as a National Cultural Treasure in 2011.
San Sebastian Church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects, who also operate the San Sebastian College adjacent to the basilica. It is located at Plaza del Carmen, at the eastern end of Recto Avenue, in Quiapo, Manila.
San Sebastian Church was declared a National Historical Landmark by President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree No. 260 on August 1, 1973. Subsequently, the church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines on August 15, 2011, with the unveiling of the marker on January 20, 2012.
On May 16, 2006, San Sebastian Church was included by the National Historical Institute (now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) in the Philippines’ Tentative List for possible designation as a World Heritage Site, on account of its architectural and historical heritage. As of 2017, the church is no longer included in the Tentative List.
In recent years, San Sebastian Church has encountered threats to its structural integrity. The steel structure has been beset by rust and corrosion due to sea breezes from nearby Manila Bay. State funding was accorded to the church through the National Historical Institute which undertook restoration in 1982. The Recollect community has likewise expended funds for the church’s maintenance and restoration. In 1998, it was placed on the biennial watchlist of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund, though it was not retained in the subsequent watchlists.
The church was listed again as one of the most endangered monuments in the world by World Monuments Fund in the 2010 World Monuments Watch, along with the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and Santa Maria Church. All of the sites were taken off the list in 2011 after the passage of the National Cultural Heritage Act.