Cathedral of St. William the Hermit (City of San Fernando, La Union)

The kids were still asleep when I awoke the next day and, after informing Grace of my plans, decided to drive the short 5-km. distance, along the National Highway, from the resort to the City of San Fernando to do some sightseeing before we leave for Manila.  I arrived at the  Cathedral of St. William the Hermit, located across the plaza and along Gomez St., just when the mass was about to end.

Church of St. William the Hermit

The seat of the Diocese of San Fernando and a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, this church was first built of stone and brick from 1773 to 1786.  The present church was built in 1817 by Fr. Simon Torrado, damaged during the 1860 earthquake and rebuilt in 1873 by Fr. Luis Perez.  Fr. Jose Rodriguez Cabezas made some modifications and laid the foundation for the two bell towers and choir loft.  The church was severely damaged during the 1892 earthquake, occupied by rebels in 1898, destroyed again during the liberation (February 26, 1945) and was rebuilt from 1947 to 1949.   The convent, also built in 1817 by Fr. Torrado, was restored by Fr. Jose Rodriguez Cabezas.

The cathedral’s interior
The colonial Baroque facade, profusely decorated in the Art Nouveau style by ornate scrolls and rosetted and foliaged ornaments in plaster reliefs, is supported on each side by four tiers of Tuscan columns, paired columns on the first and second level and single columns on the triangular pediment and its crown.  Single columns are at the far end of the side walls.  The church’s semicircular arched main entrance, heavily moulded with floral patterns, is topped by a depressed three-centered arched window flanked by pointed arched windows.  The bell tower on the right is a later addition.

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