Baroque Churches of the Philippines

Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Housing
  • Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Need to raise public awareness and to ensure proper conservation measures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 2 (from 1997-1998)
Total amount approved : 27,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1998**

July 1998: ICOMOS expert mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Bureau of the World Heritage Committee, at its the twenty-first extraordinary session, took note of the report of the Secretariat on the state of conservation of the San Agustin Church in Paoay and the request for international assistance submitted by the Government of The Philippines to organize a training workshop to raise public awareness and to ensure proper conservation measures to be undertaken to preserve the authenticity of the Baroque Churches. The Bureau recommended that the Government continues its efforts to safeguard this site and to report on the Government’s restoration plan of the Church of San Agustin in Paoay, to the Committee at its twenty-second session. The requested report had not been received by the World Heritage Centre.

At the request of the Government, the World Heritage Centre sent an expert recommended by ICOMOS in July 1998 to the San Church of Intramuros Manila, one of the four Baroque Churches composing this World Heritage site. The purpose of this mission was to evaluate whether or not a proposed plan for building an ossuary by the custodians of the San Church of Intramuros would affect the integrity and authenticity of the monument. The plan proposes to replace the original 159 crypt burials within the de Profundis to a new ossuary to be built outside of the Church. According to the expert, this plan if implemented, would alter the original and authentic condition of the rear space of the monument. Furthermore, the displacement of the crypt burials of de Profundis would change a historical event and evolution of the Church and was therefore discouraged. The expert also analyzed the conservation practice at San Augustin Church of Intramuros Manila and recommended that a long-term solution to control the flow of heavy rain water and appropriate conservation practices using traditional construction material be adopted by the custodians of this monument to ensure the structural stability of the Church.

The Bureau took note of the report of the expert, and expressed concern regarding the plan to remove the original crypt burials from the de Profundis and to build a new ossuary at the San Augustin Church of Intramuros Manila. The Bureau requested the national authorities to reconsider the proposed plan in order not to change the historical evolution of the Church, and that new design and land-use within the protected World Heritage site be carefully considered by all authorities concerned to ensure the authenticity of this important historical monument and the integrity of its setting. Furthermore, the Bureau advised the State Party to work with the World Heritage Centre to consider requesting international expertise on appropriate conservation practices using traditional building material to ensure the structural stability of the historical monument. Finally, the Bureau requested the national authorities to report to the Committee on the results of the training activities held at the Churches of Paoay and Santa Maria, the restoration plan for the Church of San Agustin of Paoay, and on the measures taken to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the San Church of Intramuros Manila, by 15 September 1999.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 COM VII.43
Reports on the State of Conservation of Cultural Properties Noted by the Committee

VII.43 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/5) and included in Annex IV of this report on the following properties:

Rapa Nui National Park (Chile)

The Mountain Resort and Its Outlying Temples in Chengde (China)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)

Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu (China)

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains (China)

City of Quito (Ecuador)

Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis (Egypt)

Islamic Cairo (Egypt)

Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn (Estonia)

Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town in Quedlinburg (Germany)

Historic Centre of Florence (Italy)

Quseir Amra (Jordan)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Baalbek (Lebanon)

Tyre (Lebanon)

Vilnius Historic Centre (Lithuania)

Old Towns of Djenné (Mali)

City of Cusco (Peru)

Archaeological site of Chavin (Peru)

Historic Centre of Lima (Peru)

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines (The Philippines)

Historic Centre of Porto (Portugal)

Island of Gorée (Senegal)

Sacred City of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)

Ancient City of Polonnaruva (Sri Lanka)

Ancient City of Sigiriya (Sri Lanka)

Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Kiev: Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings (Ukraine)

Complex of Hué Monuments (Vietnam)

Old City of Sana'a (Yemen)

No draft Decision

Report year: 1998
Date of Inscription: 1993
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 22COM (1998)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.