The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception are more simply known as Manila Cathedral. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, patroness of the Philippines, the church is currently in its eighth construction, having been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
The main façade of Manila Cathedral features Roman travertine stone statues of famous saints. Inside the cathedral are several works of art by Italian artists. Chief among these is Maestro Enza Assenza’s bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception on the main altar. The church’s 134 stained glass windows are modern, dating only to 1964.
The Manila Cathedral is centrally located in the Philippine capital. It is within walking distance of Fort Santiago, the Jose Rizal Monument and San Augustin Church. It is reasonably close to the Plaza Mexico-Intramuros River Ferry Terminal, and the nearest bus station is Plaza Lawton.
Established in 1571 by secular priest Juan de Vivero, the Manila Cathedral was originally dubbed the Church of Manila. It received its cathedral status soon afterwards and went through several reconstructions as buildings suffered through earthquakes and the Allied bombardment of World War II. The current building was completed in 1958. Pope John Paul II elevated the cathedral to a minor basilica in 1981.