Saturday, February 23, 2013

Photos of Cagsawa church after it's lower portion was buried by lava flow.

CAGSAWA CHURCH RUINS Built after 1724 by Fray Francisco Blanco, OFM, it was buried in lava during the worst Mayon Volcano eruption on February 1, 1814. Located in Daraga, Albay, only the belfry remains prominent, a mute testimony of Mayon's fiery temper.
Mayon volcano, with the Cagsawa church tower bell ruins at the foreground.

In 1814, Mt. Mayon, in the province of Albay, the Philippines, erupted and devastated the surrounding communities. This is what remained of the Cagsawa church, whose bellfry has remained standing as a mute testimony of the enormous disaster caused by flowing lava. Some 1,200 people sought sanctuary in the church, thinking that they would be saved from the fury of Mayon volcano. All of them died. One could imagine that, in their last moment, they struggled to climb to this bellfry as others below tried to pull them down. It must be a tragic, horrifying experience.
The photo below shows Cagsawa church before being buried by lava. It appears desolate and the thick vegetation around it suggests that it had been abandoned and not used for a long time. There is also some sign that the church had earlier been threatened by lava flows.
Photo after the lava flow that buried the lower portion of the Church.

(We can conclude from this photo comparison that the photo on the right is the photo after the lava flow. And somewhere in time from 1814 up to perhaps 1900s, some people have quarried and removed the remaining portion of the church.)
However after comparing the two photos and basing on the windows of the church’s tower belfry, we can conclude that this photo was taken after the lava buried the town of Cagsawa. The whole church was not completely buried by lava. Only the lower portion of the church is buried since we can still see the door of the church.

And somewhere in time after the lava flow and after the photo was taken; some people have quarried and removed the remaining portion of the Cagsawa Church.
It is unbelievable that the belfry with the 3 windows survived the lava flows and the part of the main church which is of the same height as the belfry was eaten by the lava flows.

Youtube Video of Cagsawa :

Photos courtesy of :
Related Website :,_Albay

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