Miagao Church • Miagao, Iloilo

The parish church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva (Miagao), inscribed in 1993 in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, doubles as a fortress.  Its bell tower serves as watchtowers.  An earlier townsite near the shore was abandoned when raiders attacked it in the late 18th century.  The town site was move to Tacas Hill where a church was built with defense in mind from 1786 to 1797.  The church is the work of Francisco Maximo Gonzales, OSA. Damaged during the Second World War, the church is noteworthy for its embellishments and has been restored.  The interior was totally gutted. The church has undergone numerous restorations. The latest is the addition of neo-baroque-Rococo altars of gilded hardwood.


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