5555087040_767b651798_oThe impressive Betis (St. James the Great) Church was built for almost a decade, from 1660 – 1670, under the initiative of Fr. Fernando Pinto. It took a long time to finish the construction because the number of inhabitants from whom voluntary labor was secured was small.
The word “Betis” originated from the name of a very large tree, ‘betis’ (bassia betis merr) which was then growing at the site where the church now stands. From the timber of this tree, according to the late former Mayor Don Lorenzo Pecson, were the structures of the church and belfries made.
Famous for its carvers who create excellent furniture, the Betis Church is a classic example of its people’s artisanship. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANicknamed the “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines” the church interior is adorned with ornate ceiling murals done by the famous painter Simon Flores (1839-1904), comparable with that of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The interior paintings depict important bibilical events and figures done by local artists. Further, the Betis church is impressive in terms of symmetry, gracefulness and theme. It is a fascinating work of architecture with its classic retablo (main altar) with antique ornate carved detailing and décor blending with religious frescoes reminiscent of neoclassic works of European Art.

 

Source: http://www.guaguapampanga.gov.ph/

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