Historic centre

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by perrytoo on April 22, 2003

Vigan is a World Heritage Site because of the buildings in its old Spanish Colonial centre. To my eyes, these two or three-storey white-washed stone houses were a little disappointing, as the same, and better, can be seen in almost any village in Europe. I preferred the local style wooden houses, which can be seen gently decaying in the villages all along the coasts of north-west Luzon, as well as in Vigan itself. The woodwork is usually weather-worn to a soft grey colour, and round the eaves and windows is often carved. The windows have sliding trellised shutters set with small square panes of capiz shell instead of glass, which makes them look as if they have been whitewashed on the inside, and keeps the rooms cool during the day.

The cathedral is large, old, low-lying, in earthquake baroque style, built to withstand the forces of nature as much as human aggressors. Packed to overflowing on Sundays. There are several museums, in the cathedral, the bishop’s palace (another fine old building), the governor’s palace (ditto), and a couple of old houses. If you regret not being able to view Imelda Marcos’ collection of shoes any longer, there is a fine display belonging to an ex-governor’s wife in the Crisologo Mansion.

Historic centre
Vigan, Philippines


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