Laoag City's Sinking Bell Tower

Laoag City's Sinking Bell Tower

Philippines / Luzon / Illocos Norte / Laoag City

Known as 'The Sinking Bell Tower' of Laoag City, it was built in approx. 1700 and is currently sinking at a pace of nearly a foot per decade. The entranceway is now merely a crawlspace, when people mounted on horseback could once pass through it. Entry is no longer allowed. The local government rendered it too dangerous for tourists to enter.

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Right in the Middle of Town

You wont miss it, the tower is the tallest structure in Laoag City. But you WILL most likely have a difficult time trying to find a clear photograph of the tower without being obstructed with a mess of modern … stuff in the way. There simply is no location to get a great shot. Because the streets are so narrow, you cannot be too far back.

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What to know before you go

Even though it can be quite busy and hectic at times, Laoag city is not large. You can walk the entire city and most of its tourist worthy sites in a few hours. And if walking is not your thing, then tricycles cost about 15 pesos per kilometer. There is even a post elsewhere on Unofficial Guide that helps you plan to do just that.


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Like many other churches built throughout the Philippines during this era, this architecture is considered ‘Earthquake Baroque’ style. It was constructed by the local Illocano people. Surprisingly, the bricks are held together with molasses and it has survived several earthquakes throughout the centuries. As of 2017, it stands at about 45 meters.

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