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  • 執筆者の写真Gilles van Diek

Timeless Treasures: Exploring Vigan and Santa Maria’s UNESCO Heritage Sites

Date: 25 January, 2024



A journey to the past: Vigan’s UNESCO-Listed beauty 


Embarking on a weekend adventure, I found myself in the enchanting city of Vigan, a place where the echoes of history reverberate through its cobblestone streets and centuries-old structures. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan is a living testament to the enduring charm of Spanish colonial architecture. 


Strolling Through Time: Cobblestone Streets and Colonial Marvels


Wandering through Vigan’s historic district transported me to a bygone era. The city’s well preserved cobblestone streets, known as Calle Crisologo, showcased a harmonious blend of Filipino, Chinese, and European influences. The ancestral houses, adorned with capiz shell windows and wooden lattice work, whispered tales of Spanish colonial grandeur. Each step resonated with the cultural richness that earned Vigan its UNESCO heritage status. 



UNESCO Gem: The Majestic Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church 


Venturing beyond Vigan, my journey led me to the serene town of Santa Maria, home to the Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church. This sacred sanctuary, proudly part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, stood as a symbol of architectural brilliance and spiritual significance. The church’s imposing facade and intricate details were a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era. 



Gastronomic Delights: Savoring Vigan’s Culinary Heritage 


No visit to Vigan would be complete without indulging in its unique culinary offerings. I immersed myself in the flavors of Vigan longganisa, a local sausage delicasy, and sampled the famed empanadas. The fusion of indigenous, Hispanic, and Chinese influences in Vigan’s cuisine created a tapestry of tastes that delighted the palate and offered a gastronomic journey through history. 


A Tapestry of Cultures: Vigan’s Living Heritage


Vigan’s charm extends beyond its architectural wonders and culinary delights. The city’s vibrant culture reflects the resilience of its people and their commitment to preserving their heritage. Traditional crafts, such as handwoven abel cloth and antique pottery, showcased the skills passed down through generations, ensuring that Vigan’s cultural tapestry remains vibrant. 



Reflecting on a weekend Well-Spent 


As I bid farewell to Vigan and Santa Maria, I carried with me not just the memories of a weekend getaway but a profound appreciation for the rich cultural heritage embedded in these UNESCO-listed treasures. The experience was a reminder that, amidst the hustle of modern life, there are places where time stands still, inviting us to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the past. 


In closing, my journey to Vigan and Santa Maria was a captivating exploration of UNESCO heritage, a tapestry woven with threads of history, architecture, and culinary delights. It left me with a deeper understanding of the Philippines’ diverse cultural landscape, inviting fellow travelers to embark on their own adventures through time and heritage. 


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