Interior of the Nagcarlan cemetery chapel and underground crypt

View of the vaulting with its frescoes (?)

View of the vaulting with its frescoes (?)

Nagcarlan’s underground crypt is one of the unique landmarks in the Philippines. Built by the Franciscan Friar, Fray Fray Vicente Velloc in 1845, it is one of the few octagonal cemeteries existing in the country. Declared as a National Historical Landmark in 1973, it has undergone a series of restorations with the most recent resulted to the plastering of the pediment of the chapel and portions of the fence, the reconstruction of the chapel’s ceiling which now contains just sections of the original wooden panels embedded on the plaster.

Looking at the interior of the chapel’s nave and ceiling, one can still find traces of the original paintings, now faded and gives you an idea of how probably beautiful this was when it was still new. Azulejos, tiles with usually blue markings or still present at the base of the walls, the flooring of the main altar as well as used in the stone railing of the staircase leading to the crypt.

The crypt is 15 feet below the chapel with 36 tombs arranged in four walls. The front-center is the altar with its stone retable. At the back and above is a vent. Done mostly in bricks, it has a beautiful trompe l’oeil painted vaulting but I’m not sure if the these were done al fresco, but looks like it actually is.

Another view of the underground chamber showing the transept and altar

Another view of the underground chamber showing the transept and altar

Another view of the underground chamber showing  the niches and the staircase

Another view of the underground chamber showing the niches and the staircase

Detail of one tomb

Detail of one tomb

The niches at the underground section

The niches at the underground section

View of the lateral niches as seen from the altar

View of the lateral niches as seen from the altar

The small retable which serves as an altar at the center

The small retable which serves as an altar at the center

Detail of a section of the underground chamber's ceiling with a painting. I'm not sure though if this are frescoes.

Detail of a section of the underground chamber’s ceiling with a painting. I’m not sure though if this are frescoes.

Just before entering the underground chamber is a faded instcription

Just before entering the underground chamber is a faded instcription

The staircase leading to the underground section. Notice the azulejos as railing

The staircase leading to the underground section. Notice the azulejos as railing

Azulejos, colored tiles usually with blue, at the base

Azulejos, colored tiles usually with blue, at the base

Detail of the wooden ceiling panels with faded paintings

Detail of the wooden ceiling panels with faded paintings

Nave of the chapel with faded paintings

Nave of the chapel with faded paintings

Interior of the chapel showing the retable, a portion of the reconstructed ceiling with the remaining painted wooden parts

Interior of the chapel showing the retable, a portion of the reconstructed ceiling with the remaining painted wooden parts

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