Saturday, April 23, 2011

Visita Iglesia: Carcar Church in Cebu

The Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Carcar, Cebu sits on top of a hill overlooking this charming heritage town (which is already a city by now, after the supreme court upheld its cityhood on February 2011.). Right in front of the church is a plaza. On the right side, if you're facing the church, are the St. Catherine's College and the Carcar Museum and on the left is the Parish Convent.

The Carcar Museum

The Centennial Building of St. Catherine's College

The Parish Convent or the "convento" is a separate building from the church.

The Church of Carcar is one of the oldest church in the Province of Cebu. Construction of the current structure started in 1860 and was finished in 1875. What makes this church unique among the other old churches I visited is the strong Muslim influence on its design. The twin bell towers have onion-shaped domes which are similar to those found in Muslim mosques.

A fence made of coral stones and wrought iron surrounds the church. On top of the fence are the statues of the apostles.

The church's main door has a double arch design.

Inside, the Carcar Church looks as impressive as it is outside with its decorated ceilings and massive columns adorned by angels with lamp holders. The arcade leads to  the main altar which has a painted image of the Holy Family on top of the statue of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

 The interior of Carcar Churh

While exploring the church's interior, I noticed that there are tombstones on its floors, walls and columns. I guess these are tombstones of Carcar's prominent persons who contributed or donated something to the church.

Tombstones on the church's columns and flooring

After exploring more of the church, I went outside and rested for a while at the plaza. The layout of a plaza fronting a church is common during the Spanish period. This setting provides a place for families and churchgoers to hang out and relax before or after attending a mass.

 A couple spending romantic moments at the plaza fronting the church

Travel Tips:

1. Carcar is about 40 kilometers south of Cebu City. From the Cebu South Terminal, you can either take a private van for hire or the public buses with regular trips to Carcar. The estimated travel time from Cebu City to Carcar is about one hour.

2. You can hire a tricycle to take you to the St. Catherine of Alexadria Church and other heritage sites around town.

 (Photo taken by Pablo Rojas Jr.)


  1. wow sir! Parang nasa mexico itsura nung church na iyan ah! ganda!

  2. another reason to revisit Cebu :)

  3. @IamDP and Tina: I agree! This church is indeed one of Cebu's priceless heritage.

  4. We must proud of that we have Church like this. Love to travel bound in some churches here in the Philippines.

  5. Cool! I've been in Carcar Cebu and this Churches really attracts me and I love the beach there because they are naturally white. Thanks for sharing.

  6. the church is gorgeous!!!
    i've been in that church and it really attracts me

  7. looks great i want to go in carcar
    and i heard carcar has the best lechon and a special chicharon

  8. Earl, i am making this post as a reference now for my CEBU trip this June 28. :) hopefully, masingit nako ang CARCAR! :)

    1. Sure Lan! Daghan nindot suroyan sa Cebu. Enjoy!


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