Exterior of Nagcarlan’s Underground Cemetery

The town of Nagcarlan in Laguna isn’t only known for its cooler weather, being at an elevated area and at the foot of Mt. San Cristobal. It is not only known as the church where the local TV series was filmed, Ang Kampanerang Kuba, but more importantly, it is known for its unique cemetery with an underground crypt and inscribed as National Historical Landmark in 1973.

Built in 1845 by Fray Vicente Velloc, a Franciscan, the cemetery faces the east with a beautiful grand entrance gate. The fence is octagonal, similar to the shape of the cemetery chapel at the opposite end. Flanking the facade of the chapel are 276 niches. When it was built, it was intended to be the towns burial grounds while the crypt was reserved for the Spanish friars and local elites.

The overall style is baroque and this can readily be seen at the facade of the chapel with its flanking volutes at the pediment and blind round windows. The front is crowned with an espadana, an uncommon architectural feature in Philippine heritage structures. Although it has similarities with the cemetery chapel of Vigan which sports the same feature.

The front of the cemetery and leading steps. Photo taken in 2005.

The front of the cemetery and leading steps. Photo taken in 2005.

A pair of openings of the perimeter fence. Photo taken in 2005.

A pair of openings of the perimeter fence. Photo taken in 2005.

The facade of the cemetery chapel. Photo taken in 2005.

The facade of the cemetery chapel. Photo taken in 2005.

Detail of the niches at the sides of the chapel. Photo taken in 2005.

Detail of the niches at the sides of the chapel. Photo taken in 2005.

Back of the entrance gate. Photo taken in 2005.

Back of the entrance gate. Photo taken in 2005.

A wider view of the cemetery grounds. Photo taken in 2005.

A wider view of the cemetery grounds. Photo taken in 2005.

Gate facade with the upper part with paletada. Photo taken in 2016.

Gate facade with the upper part with paletada. Photo taken in 2016.

Niches at the side of the chapel. Photo taken in 2016.

Niches at the side of the chapel. Photo taken in 2016.

The chapel facade with paletada. Photo taken in 2016.

The chapel facade with paletada. Photo taken in 2016.

Back of entrance gate with paletada. Mountain at right is Mt. Banahan. Photo taken in 2016.

Back of entrance gate with paletada. Mountain at right is Mt. Banahan. Photo taken in 2016.

The octagonal cemetery chapel as seen from the back. Photo taken in 2016.

The octagonal cemetery chapel as seen from the back. Photo taken in 2016.

Detail of the espandana as seen from the back. Photo taken in 2016.

Detail of the espandana as seen from the back. Photo taken in 2016.

Detail of the roof wood trusses. Photo taken in 2016.

Detail of the roof wood trusses. Photo taken in 2016.

Back view of chapel showing vent of crypt. Photo taken in 2016.

Back view of chapel showing vent of crypt. Photo taken in 2016.

Part of the octagonal wall at the back. Photo taken in 2016.

Part of the octagonal wall at the back. Photo taken in 2016.

The beautiful entrance gate of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. Photo taken in 2005.

The beautiful entrance gate of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. Photo taken in 2005.

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  1. Pingback: Interior of the Nagcarlan cemetery chapel and underground crypt - Simbahan

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