Legazpi Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great

The St. Gregory the Great Cathedral, known as one of the oldest Roman Catholic Churches in the Philippines, is a tourist attraction and one of the most prominent landmarks in Legazpi’s Old Albay District. It is located in the province of Albay, near Pearanda Park, Legazpi City Hall, and the Provincial Capitol.

The seat of the Roman Catholic bishop of Legazpi, Albay is the Spanish-old Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno.  The cathedral started as a lowly wooden chapel built by the early Spanish missionaries in the 1580s. It was extensively damaged during World War II and was renovated in 1951. Today, the St. Gregory the Great Cathedral is the most prominent landmark of the city and is the endpoint of one of the grandest Good Friday processions in the region.

The first church was a wooden chapel built by early Spanish missionaries when they arrived in town in the 1580s. There were unnoticed renovations and reconstructions until 1754, when the church was destroyed and buried during the Mayon Volcano eruption.

When the Episcopal Seat of the Diocese of Legaspi was established in 1951, the church was elevated to the status of cathedral. The main entrance is semicircular arched with a portico, flanked by niches and coupled columns on pedestals supporting the triangular pediments. During the church’s golden jubilee in 2001, a gate with monolithic pillars and an arch was built.

This church is dedicated St. Gregory the Great and is the main center of Catholicism in Legazpi City. Its origin dates back to the late 16th century when it was founded as a “visita” by the Franciscan missionaries to Bicol. It became the cathedral of the diocese of Legazpi only in 1951. Today it’s a very active and much frequented center of faith, but its structure, architecture, and interior are quite simple.

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