Baclayon Church: A Traveler’s Guide to Discovering This Majestic Site in Bohol

baclayon church bohol

Bohol is known, obviously, for Chocolate Hills and other nature wonders but it is also popular for its centuries-old churches that some of which were built during the Spanish colonial times. One of these is the Baclayon Church.

Built in 1596, it is considered as the oldest church in Bohol. Its majestic facade leads to an undeniably stunning interior which includes a gold-plated altar and an assortment of centuries-old religious images and artifacts.

About Baclayon Church

The La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church or Baclayon Church Bohol is one of the top attractions and must-visit churches in Bohol. Built in 1596, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declared it a historical cultural value, and a national cultural treasure by the National Museum in 2010.

What’s inside this blog?

Baclayon Church History

baclayon church bohol restoration

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sanchez founded Baclayon Church Bohol in 1596 and became the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. The church’s construction began in 1717 and was completed in 1737. 

More than 200 forced laborers built Baclayon Church Bohol out of coral stone and said to have mixed it with egg whites as cement. 

In 1994, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declared Baclayon Church description as a National Historical Landmark, and in 2010, the National Museum of the Philippines declared it as a National Cultural Treasure.

It was even included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List of the Philippines since 1993. When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol in 2013, many churches in Bohol including Dauis, Loboc Church in Bohol, and the Baclayon were greatly damaged. Hence, Baclayon was removed from the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. 

NHCP supervised the Baclayon Church restoration and other sites in Dauis, Tubigon and Loay. In 2018, Baclayon was fully-restored and has reopened to the public since then.

Baclayon Church Facts

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baclayon church bohol interior

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

From the Baclayon Church earthquake down to the tiniest detail of what it’s made from, we’ve listed some interesting facts about Baclayon Church Bohol that could make your trip more fun and informative.

  • It was made of coral stones
  • More than 200 workers built this church
  • Millions of white eggs were said to have been used as cement
  • Baclayon started the trend in Bohol of establishing parish museums
  • It is a National Cultural Treasure and a National Historical Landmark
  • The UNESCO removed it from the World Heritage Tentative List of the Philippines because of the damages brought by the 2013 earthquake in Bohol and other parts of Central Visayas

Sources: Philippine Daily Inquirer; bohol-philippines.com; Rappler

Location of Baclayon Church

It is located in the town of Baclayon in Bohol. Check out this map to be guided.

How to Get There

From Manila, there are daily flights to Bohol and travel time takes about an hour and 15 minutes to Bohol’s Tagbilaran Airport. You may also travel to Bohol from Cebu which takes about an hour and a half by boat from Cebu to Tagbilaran.

Baclayon is some 6 km east of Tagbilaran, from there, you can ride a bus or jeepney in Tagbilaran going to Baclayon. 

Rates And Other Information In Visiting

Baclayon Church and Museum entrance fee: Free to enter the church; PHP 50 to enter the museum

Opening hours: 8:30am to 4:45pm (Church); 8:30am to 5:30pm (Museum)

Tourist Spots Nearby

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  • Baclayon Museum
  • Pamilacan Island
  • Malon Heritage House
  • Villamor Heritage House

Where to Stay in Bohol

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Frequently Asked Questions About Baclayon Church

Q: What is the oldest church in Bohol?

A: The oldest church in Bohol is Baclayon Church which was founded in 1596.

Q: How to get to Baclayon Church from Tagbilaran?

A: From Tagbilaran, you can ride a bus or jeepney going to Baclayon. 

Q: Is it free to visit Baclayon Church?

A: It is free to enter the church but there’s an entrance fee of PHP 50 to enter the museum.

Q: Is Bohol open for tourists?

A: Yes, Bohol is open for travelers but local tourists planning to visit Bohol Province will only be allowed to explore the COVID-free island Panglao according to Governor Arthur Yap. 

More travel updates here: Latest Philippines Tourism News

Q: How to get to Bohol from Cebu?

A: From Cebu, you can ride a ferry bound for Bohol. Travel time via the Oceanjet Ferry from Cebu to Bohol takes about 2 hours. Upon arrival at the Tagbilaran port, you can take a taxi or tricycle to your destination. 

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