Basilica of San Martin de Torres (Taal Basilica)
The facade of the Taal Basilica
Basilica de San Martin de Tours, is a Minor Basilica located in Taal, Batangas. It is claimed as the largest church in the Philippines and in South East Asia. This church is 96 meters long and 45 meters wide. Local people celebrate the day of their patron saint, San Martin de Tours, every November 11. It is the time that the townspeople honor and acknowledge their patron saint.
The first level of the facade is lined with coupled-Ionic pillars, which alternate with arched doors topped by arched windows. The vertically oriented arrangement is decisively counterpointed by projecting cornices and moldings which stretch from one side to the other. Out of this horizontal demarcation, the second level of the facade appears where coupled columns and arched openings are arranged in alternating fashion. However, instead of Ionic columns, Corinthian ones are used on the second level.
One of the important features of Taal Basilica is its bell which is also considered as one of the largest bells in the Philippines. The bell is very big, with 19 feet (5.8 m) in circumference at the lip, 9.33 feet (2.84 m) around the crown, and 6.42 feet (1.96 m) in height.
How to get there
You can reach Taal, Batangas by means of STAR Tollway or Southern Tagalog Arterial Road. Drive straight to STAR Tollway and exit at Tambo (Lipa City). Turn right from the exit and follow the signs to Cuenca. Continue on driving to the national highway until you pass through the towns of Alitagtag and Sta. Teresita.
When you reach the Sta. Teresita junction, turn right and drive straight until you reach the Taal-Lemery Bypass Junction. Turn left at the junction and follow the road and you’ll find the Taal Basilica easily.