Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle (Vigan Cathedral)


1574 (rebuilt in 1641 and re-rebuilt in 1790)


Roman Catholic — seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur


  • One of the country’s oldest Augustinian churches, the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral started out as a chapel made of wood and thatch in 1578 by order of Juan de Salcedo, the conquistador and founder of Villa Ferdinandina, which later became the town of Vigan.

  • When the seat of the Nueva Segovia Diocese was transferred to Villa Fernandina de Vigan from Cagayan’s Lal-lo in 1758, the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral and became the center of Catholic faith in the north. Another structure was ordered by then Governor Jose de Basco to be built to replace the existing church in 1786. With the Augustinians, the cornerstone of the new church was laid in the beginning of 1790.

  • …the cathedral follows a Baroque architectural design that has been modified by Ilocanos to strengthen the structure against earthquakes. This is now known as earthquake Baroque. Testament to the style’s effectivity is the fact that the structure’s original interior walls have remained complete. It also has a bit of Chinese influence thanks to the carvings of lion dogs beside the outermost doors.

  • The only remaining Archbishop's Palace in the Philippines built during the Spanish colonization is located in Vigan, beside the cathedral. The church also contains remains of former bishops of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia,[5] as well as the remains of Ilocano poet Leona Florentino (her and her husband Elias de los Reyes' grave marker can be seen on a column near the side door facing Plaza Burgos).



All media by Luke Cabading.


Philippine Primer - Travel. (2017). St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019]. (n.d.). Paul's Cathedral | [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].

Centre, U. (n.d.). Historic City of Vigan. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019]. (n.d.). Earthquake Baroque. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].