Oslob church facade details


The facade of Oslob Church
On 26 March 08, an 8 hour fire gutted the more than a century old kumbento (parish house) and church of Oslob in Cebu. What was left were the thick stone walls and belfry as well as an icon of the parish patron. This is my tribute to this beautiful and historic church with photos taken in 2005 and 2006. This is the 2nd installment of a series.

The facade of the church is simple with not much elaborate embellishments found in other churches. Its style is Neo-Classic and is mainly comprised of rectangular forms clearly represented by the windows. A triangular pediment, topped with 6 finials with a cross at the center, is supported by simple columns rising from the base up to about two thirds of the facade emphasizing further its vertical movement. The main portal as well as the windows at the belfry gives a mild contrast with its arches.

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The royal seal located at the center of the pediment.

Found at the center of the pediment, and the only relief in this part, is the royal seal indicating that the church was constructed under the patronage of the King of Spain. At the seal’s edges is an inscription:

EXMOEYLLMODFRSANTOSGOMESMARAÑONFORMAELPLANDEESTAIGLESIA AÑODE1830

This translates to

His Excellency and Most Illustrious Lord Fray Santos Gomes Marañon made the plan of this Church, in the year 1830

Text and translation courtesy of Trizer Dale Mansueto, History Professor, University of San Carlos (Cebu).


Detail of decorative “teeth” at the lower portion of the pediment.


Detail of columns at the facade. Right, one of the columns found at the belfry.


Finials at the top of the pediment including the cross. The man at the right photo gives scale to the size
of the finials.

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2 Comments

  1. “…not much elaborate embellishments…” Something is wrong with that phrase.
    Of course, the simplicity of the facade is a characteristic of the Classical style. Another characteristic is the linearity of the design found in, as was mentioned, the rectangular windows, as well as in the sharp angles of the pediment and in the vertical lines of the pilasters, or engaged columns. Still, another quality is, not including the belfry, its formal balance.
    The “teeth” below the cornice, which forms the base of the pediment, are called dentils (from the Latin dentes, meaning teeth.) Dentils are typically found in Ionic or Corinthian cornices.

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