Earthquake Baroque

Paoay Church, an earthquake baroque architecture in the Philippines, with thick buttresses supporting the walls.

Earthquake Baroque is a style of Baroque architecture found in places like the Philippines and Guatemala, which suffered destructive earthquakes during the 17th century and 18th century, where large public buildings, such as churches, were rebuilt in a Baroque style.[1] Similar events led to the Pombaline architecture in Lisbon following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and Sicilian Baroque in Sicily following the 1693 earthquake.

La Merced Church in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala with its squatty and thick belfries.


In the Philippines, destruction of earlier churches from frequent earthquakes have made the church proportion lower and wider; side walls were made thicker and heavily buttressed for stability during shaking. The upper structures were made with lighter materials.[2]

Bell towers are usually lower and stouter compared to towers in less seismically active regions of the world.[3] Towers have thicker girth in the lower levels, progressively narrowing to the topmost level.[2] In some churches of the Philippines, aside from functioning as watchtowers against pirates, bell towers are detached from the main church building to avoid damage in case of a falling bell tower due to an earthquake.


  1. "Antigua’s Environs – Antigua, Guatemala". BootsnAll Indie Travel Guide. Retrieved on 2011-07-06.
  2. 1 2 "The City of God: Churches, Convents and Monasteries". Discovering Philippines. Retrieved on 2011-07-06.
  3. Finch, Ric. "Antigue Guatemala-- Monumental City of the Americas". Rutahsa Adventures. Retrieved on 2011-07-06.

External links

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