Completed in 1951, The Manila Cathedral rises majestically over the remains of five predecessors, the first of which was erected in 1581. Four of the previous constructions were destroyed by earthquakes and fires, the fifth was reduced to a bombed-out shell during the Liberation of Manila in 1945. The new Romanesque edifice incorporates stone carvings and rosette windows salvaged from the ruins and is topped by a cupola that is a perfect picture of strength, delicacy and grace.

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