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Photographer's Note

This centuries-old church nestled atop a hill at the townproper of Sta. Maria was used as a fortress during the 1986 Revolution.It is approached by three broad stairways - one from the eastern side where lies a now abandoned cemetery with a quaint chapel, another from the southwest side at the back of the church and the main stairway with 83 steps from the northwest.
The church facade itself is not too impressive, being blocked from view by the convent. But its rose-tinted stonework is worth a second look. So are the Moorish floral and foliate designs around the water recesses. The svelte octagonal bell tower nearby seems a stark contrast to the church's solid body.
The parish was established in 25 April 1765 and served as a station of the Augustinian missionaries in 1822 on their way to evangelize Abra.
The entire church site was designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1 August 1973 and included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 11 December 1993, together with three another churches as a classic example of Philippine earthquake baroque architecture.

Note:
The left pillar is under renovation thus i cloned some tiles to cover some parts.
Cropped and framed

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