Bantay Church and Bell Tower
Bantay Church and Bell Tower are historical landmarks in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. They are part of the Vigan Heritage Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the blend of Filipino and colonial European architecture. Here are some facts about Bantay Church and Bell Tower that you might find interesting:
• Bantay Church is also known as the Saint Augustine Parish Church, and it is one of the oldest surviving churches in the region dating back to 1591.
• Bantay Bell Tower was originally built as a watchtower in 1591 to guard the towns of Bantay and Vigan from foreign invaders. It was later turned into a bell tower by the nearby church in 1857.
• Bantay Bell Tower is situated on a hill, giving a panoramic view of the surrounding area. It is also said to be the favorite dating spot of Diego and Gabriela Silang, a revolutionary couple who fought against Spanish colonial rule in the 18th century.
• Bantay Church and Bell Tower were heavily damaged during World War II, but they were restored in 1950. They are now among the most popular tourist attractions in Ilocos Sur, especially at night when they are illuminated by lights.
• Bantay Church is home to the miraculous image of Our Lady of Charity, which was crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia on January 12, 1956. The church celebrates her feast day every second Sunday of January.