Province of Ilocos Norte
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Sta. Monica Church is one of the most visited churches in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. It is located 8 kilometers east of Laoag City and 594 kilometers from Manila.
It was used as the venue for the wedding of Irene Marcos, eldest daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos in June 1983 to Gregorio Araneta. Two months later, on 17 August 1983, it was damaged by an earthquake with an intensity of 7.6.
During the Spanish era, it was believed to be used as a trial or court building. Construction of the church, convent and bell tower began in 1669 and was completed in 1679. It was damaged by a fire in 1817 and again in 1882; rebuilding after the second fire was finished in 1896.
While the church edifice was constructed by the Augustinians in 1779, the Sta. Monica Parish Museum was established in 1993 supervised by its parish priest for the bishop of Laoag. It was finished in 1997 care of the Kannawidan Foundation, Inc. – The Iloko Foundation for Arts and Culture to its present state. This organization advocates the preservation of the cultural and historical heritage of Ilokanos.
The church was constructed in the Baroque and Neoclassical styles. It has buttressed walls, 3-level brick bridge and staircase that connects the church to the convent. It was the last Spanish church built in Ilocos Norte. It has a 137-meter nave which is the longest in the country. This is acknowledged by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Encyclopedia of Philippine Art.
The church once had a clock on the dome installed by Father Jose Ruiz. The convent, known as the Casa del Palacio Real, served as the presidencia municipal and the seat of the church’s civil government. – wikimapia.org