Oton Church architecture

Oton Church is in the form of a Greek cross with four equal arms. It is mainly of the Gothic Order with other architectural styles blended. Image showing one of the side entrance. Archival image courtesy of San Agustin Museum.

The lost church of Oton in Iloilo was the only one of its kind in the Philippines in form and structure. It’s architecture is a combination of different architectural styles: gothic, classical and romanesque, a trait that is very much common in most Spanish colonial period churches in the country. It was in the form of a Greek cross, a byzantine floor plan with all four arms of equal length radiating from the center.

The structure has two levels. The first having semicircular windows running the length of its sides and each end of the arm having portals: three main doors at the main entrance and one each at the other arms. The second level has circular windows alternated with classical columns at each side and three openings with lancet arches top the portals.

The four entrances are crowned with a triangular pediment in the form of a gothic arch pierced with a rose window and flanked with two spires. Other than the three portals, the main entrance is also distinguished with bigger spires. A massive central dome has a lantern serving as a finial and below it are clerestory windows to admit light.

This blending of different architectural styles cohered in some way to become one of the unique structures in the country ever built. Unfortunately, it never survived to this day.


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