The Naga Cathedral in Naga City, Camarines Sur was erected of Padia-an when the Diocese of Nueva Caceres was created by a Papal Bull of August 14, 1595. The cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1768. The construction of the present cathedral in Spanish-Romanesque style began in 1808, led by Bishop Bernardo dela Concepcion. It was finished and blessed by Mons. Tomas Ladron de Guevara in 1843. It was damaged by typhoon in October 1856 and restored by the very Rev. Fray Francisco Gainza in 1862-1879. It was damaged by an earthquake in 1887 and repaired by Obras Publicas under the direction of Bishop Arsenio Campo and Engineer Ricardo Ayuso in 1890.
My memories of the Naga Cathedral, aside from hanging out in the parking lot after school, involve first Friday masses with the school as well as masses associated with the Peñafrancia Festival. Other than that, I try to stay away from this church because I find it too dark.
The old stone church, magnificent in its striking baroque style of architecture, has two large belfries attached to its sides.
The ceilings are said to be painted using the art technique called Trompe-l’œil which makes it look like a three-dimensional piece of art.
The cathedral took 15 years to build, constructed from 1816 to 1831, and is known to be the biggest church in the whole Bicol Region.
Because of its grand interior, many couples opt to get married in this church (given that there are 6 other churches inside Naga City where marriage rites are also done). Currently, there are 11 churches in Naga City alone, a testament to how religious Nagueños are. Some of them a few blocks away from each other.
My sister got married here in 2007.
The pavilion on the Naga Cathedral grounds, other than being a good place to have a wedding portrait taken, serves as a shelter for the image of the Lady after the major processions – the Traslacion (First Friday of September from Basilica to Naga Cathedral along the streets of Naga City) and the Fluvial procession (8th day of the devotion, from Naga Cathedral to Basilica along the Bicol River).