Scene from a bridge on the way to the heart of Navotas.

The church under construction.

This is a tall claim but San Sebastian Church in Manila City is the only known church built using pre-fabricated steel. It is also the only steel church/ temple building in Asia. Competed in 1891, it is the second all-steel structure in the world after the Eiffel Tower of Paris. French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel himself was assumed to have been involved in the construction but this was never confirmed.
​Said to have been inspired by the famed Gothic Burgos Cathedral in Burgos, Spain, The plan was to build a fire and earthquake-resistant structure made entirely of steel. The design fused Earthquake Baroque with the Neo-Gothic.​
Sadly, the steel structure has been stricken by corrosion being built near the Manila Bay. In 1998, it was placed on the biennial watchlist of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund, It is currently in the tentative list for the World Heritage List. UNESCO
​Many Filipinos have heard of San Sebastian Church but from people I know not many have even visited or seen it in person despite living in Metro Manila. So I set out to photograph the church at noon during the past Holy Week to get a more detailed glimpse of the church and its interiors. All photographs were shot with a Nikon 24mm 1.8G using a full-frame DSLR. 
​I heard they have a paid tour... I'll do that next time to supplement the images I have so far.
Back to Top