Miag Ao Church by Dennis Natividad · 365 Project.
The Miagao Church also known as the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church is a Roman catholic church located in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines. It was also called the Miagao Fortress Church since it served as defensive tower of the town against Muslim raids. The church was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993.
The church’s over-all architectural style falls under the Baroque Romanesque architectural style.Its ochre color is due to the materials used in constructing the church, adobe, egg, coral and limestone.
The façade of Miagao church consists of an ornately decorated bas-relief in the middle of two huge watchtower belfries on each side. The bas-relief is a mixed influence of Medieval Spanish, Chinese, Muslim and local traditions and elements, a unique characteristic of the church façade. A prominent part of the façade is a coconut tree depicted as the tree of life where St. Christopher holds on. St. Christopher is dressed in local and traditional clothing carrying the Child Jesus on his back. The rest of the façade features the daily life of the people of Miagao during that time including native flora (like papaya, coconut and palm tree) and fauna.
Above the wooden door entrance at the center of the façade just below the image of St. Christopher is a carved image of the town’s patron saint, St. Thomas of Villanueva. At each side of the door is the images of St. Henry of Bavaria on the left and Pope Pius VI.Above the images of St. Henry and Pope Pius VI is their respective coat-of-arms.