Manila Cathedral


in Manila

First built in 1581 (and rebuilt seven times since, most recently in 1951 following its destruction in WWII), Manila Cathedral's present edifice looks suitably ancient with its weathered Romanesque facade and graceful cupola. Inside are a gilded altar, a 4500-pipe organ and rosette windows with beautiful stained glass. Friezes on its bronze door depict the string of tragic events that led to the cathedral's destruction. The cathedral fronts Plaza de Roma, which was a blood-soaked bullring until it was converted into a plaza.