Vigan’s Heritage Village is a town in the Philippines known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture. Visitors can take a walking tour to see the beautiful Calle Crisologo, Plaza Salcedo, and Mestizo District. Other highlights include the Baluarte, St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, and Syquia Mansion. Don’t miss trying the local delicacies and taking a kalesa ride.
In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through Vigan’s Heritage Village, exploring its intricate architecture and rich history. From ancient houses to grandiose churches, we will discover how Vigan has managed to preserve its heritage while embracing modernity. So join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Vigan’s architectural wonders!
Vigan’s Heritage Village
Vigan’s Heritage Village is a World Heritage Site located in the heart of the Ilocos region in the Philippines. Spanning 4 hectares, the village has been carefully preserved with original structures from previous centuries still intact. The town showcases a unique Spanish-Filipino style of architecture known for its cobblestone streets and colorful painted houses.
Vigan’s Heritage Village preserves and celebrates many historical sites such as museums, churches, ancestral houses, backyard industries, antique stores and even handicraft workshops. Thanks to preservation efforts, visitors may take pleasure in exploring an authentic colonial atmosphere while learning about Vigan’s rich cultural heritage.
Architectural highlights of the Heritage Village
Vigan, the Heritage Village in Ilocos Sur captivates its visitors with its stunning and well-preserved colonial-era architectures. These beautiful architectures have become true testaments to Philippine history and culture.
Vigan’s Calle Crisologo is widely known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, where locals and tourists alike can explore. With its cobblestone path and houses made from wood, stone and red bricks with intricate designs that have withstood the test of time, anyone who walks through this street will instantly be taken aback by its beauty.
Most of the houses are also adorned with ancestral memorabilia, suggesting a deeply rooted Vigan history that exists in every corner of the street. Calle Crisologo provides visitors a glimpse into Vigan’s past while giving them a unique type of experience they can treasure forever.
Key buildings and landmarks
Vigan is renowned for its historical district and one of the most iconic places within it is Calle Crisologo. This cobblestoned street, lined with old Spanish-era houses, is a peek into Vigan’s past – the cozy cafes that still use kerosene lamps, heritage churches, an old ancestral house and monuments decorating the street help to shape Vigan’s beautiful and captivating atmosphere. Be it religious or residential structures, each and every building or landmark in Calle Crisologo has a unique tale to tell and contributes to Vigan’s rich culture and history.
Address: H99Q+X84, Crisologo, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: 24hrs
It is a piece of cultural history with its architecture and structure that dates back to the Spanish occupation of Vigan in 1572. Plaza Salcedo has an oval shape with a center platform where a bronze statue of Gat Jose de La Cruz Salcedo, the Viceroy of Vigan, sits atop it.
There are two baluartes (main towers) on either side of the platform and native ornamental plants edge the outer walls which have become home to some Vigan souvenir shops. This place resonates with the Spanish days of old and stands proud as a symbol of Vigan’s rich culture and history.
Key buildings and landmarks
Vigan’s Plaza Salcedo is the city’s main square, thought to have been named after Vigan’s Spanish Lieutenant Governor Gabriel Salcedo. It is located in the heart of Vigan and is a popular tourist destination with unique buildings and landmarks.
The centerpiece of the plaza is Vigan’s famous 270-year old Hilong-hilong, a highly decorated fountain from which Vigan’s original name of Ciudad Fernandina was derived. Around the fountain are majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral and Vigan City Hall built in 1690 and 1786 respectively.
Address: H9GQ+528, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 7:30PM – 8PM
Famous landmarks and buildings
Vigan is one of the most iconic and well-known landmarks in the world. It is known for its unique blend of cultures, including Chinese and Spanish-influenced architecture, cobblestone pathways, and a variety of historical sites.
Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo
Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo is a famous destination located in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It is a zoo and theme park that provides a safe natural environment to various wild animals,many of which are located nowhere else in the Philippines.
With over 100 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, Baluarte offers visitors an opportunity to engage with nature as well as explore Vigan’s rich cultural heritage. The resort features unique cultural attractions such as Vigan’s historical landmarks, preserved cobblestone roads, traditional Spanish-style architectures and resilient folklore.
Address: H92G+GV7, Quirino Boulevard, Tamag, Vigan City, 2700 Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8:30AM – 6PM
Phone: (077) 722 7186
St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral
St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral is a famously known landmark in Vigan City, Philippines. It has been standing for over four hundred years and remains as an important part of Vigan’s history. As the cathedral of Vigan, it is both culturally and religiously significant and founded by Spanish missionary Fray Joaquin de Zaragoza in 1641.
Since its construction, the cathedral has undergone various renovations to keep its infrastructure intact while still maintaining its old-world feel with the brilliant exterior designs such as gothic architecture or the ‘earthquake baroque’ style.
Address: Burgos St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday- Sunday, 7AM – 5AM
For more information about the mass schedule, click here.
Bantay Bell Tower
Vigan’s Bantay Bell Tower is an iconic and recognizable landmark in the Ilocos region. Located at Vigan’s northernmost tip, the tower has graced Vigan’s skyline for centuries, remaining a symbol of Vigan’s rich heritage and history.
Built by the Spaniards between 1590-1600 to guard Vigan from invasions, the bell also served as a way of signifying noon and alerting people to religious services. This tower is one of Vigan’s most important landmarks, frequently visited by both locals and tourists alike.
Address: 003 Rizal St, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8AM – 5PM / Sunday 5:30AM – 5:30PM
Located in Vigan, Plaza Burgos is a historical landmark that is widely admired by both locals and tourists. It was named after Father José Burgos, who is a famous Filipino martyr and priest. This plaza was built in 1686 and it serves as a public gathering place for the Vigan citizens.
Some of the attractions include a park, a fountain, and statues representing Vigan’s grand history. One of Vigan’s oldest structures can also be found here – the Vigan Cathedral which dates back to 1590.
Address: H9FQ+PG6, Florentino St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: 24hrs
Pagburnayan is a unique area that produces jars known as “burnay”. Crafted by experienced artisans, these jars are made from local clay and burnished with stones to give the characteristic smooth finish.
Craftspeople at Pagburnayan have used their traditional methods for jar-making for hundreds of years and still use them today. The perfect level of molding combined with Earthy tones makes burnay an eye-catching product.
Address: 48 Gomez St, Vigan City, 2700 Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8AM – 5PM
Chapel by the Ruins
The Vigan chapel, known as Chapel by the Ruins, is a historical attraction in Vigan City, Philippines. A reminder of Vigan’s grandeur before the era of Spanish colonization, this chapel was constructed in the 1880s atop a centuries-old structure discovered by Dr. Juan de Salcedo in 1572.
Located at Calle Plaridel and facing Vigan’s Plaza Alfonso XIII, Chapel by the Ruins still stands proudly today and stands as a short walk from central Vigan that celebrates a taste of Vigan’s colonial past with its distinctive facade of red brick façade.
Address: H9JR+9Q2 Church Bell Tower, Bantay, Lalawigan ng Ilocos Sur
For more information, click here.
Where to Eat in Vigan
Vigan is located in the province of Ilocos Sur and is a beloved tourist destination for its rich Spanish heritage and culture. After soaking in Vigan’s sights and sounds, visitors might just be looking for a place to satisfy their appetites. Luckily, Vigan has some truly magnificent dining options to offer its many travelers.
Local delicacies to try
Another thing that makes Vigan a popular destination for foodies is its delicious local cuisine. Here are some of the must-try local delicacies that you should definitely sample during your visit:
- Empanada – a savory pastry filled with ground meat, vegetables, and egg. The crust is made from rice flour and annatto oil, giving it its distinctive orange color.
- Longganisa – a type of sausage made from ground pork marinated in vinegar and garlic. It’s usually served for breakfast with garlic rice and fried egg.
- Bagnet – deep-fried pork belly that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It’s often paired with tomatoes, onions, and bagoong (fermented fish paste).
- Sinanglao – a soup made from beef tripe, liver, heart, and other internal organs cooked in a broth flavored with ginger and onion. It’s typically eaten as a midday snack.
- Chichacorn – crunchy corn kernels that are roasted or fried until crispy. They come in different flavors like garlic, cheese, and barbecue.
- Pinakbet – a vegetable stew made from mixed vegetables like eggplant, bitter melon, squash, okra, tomatoes, and onions sautéed in bagoong (fermented fish paste).
- Crispy Dinuguan – a twist on the traditional dinuguan (pork blood stew) where the meat is fried until crispy before being added to the stew. It’s served with puto (steamed rice cake) or bread.
Restaurants and cafes to visit
Vigan City is known for its rich cultural heritage, but it’s also home to some amazing restaurants and cafes. Whether you’re looking for traditional Filipino dishes or international cuisine, there’s something for everyone. Here are five must-visit spots:
This charming cafe is located inside a historic Spanish colonial house and serves up delicious coffee drinks, pastries, and light bites. It’s the perfect spot to relax after exploring the city.
Address: 1 Crisologo, Brgy 2, Vigan City, 2700 Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10AM – 12AM
For authentic Ilocano cuisine, head to Kusina Felicitas. Their specialties include bagnet (crispy pork belly) and pinakbet (a vegetable stew), both of which are must-tries.
Address: 1 Bonifacio, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 6:30AM – 10PM
Phone: (077) 637 8229
If you’re in the mood for grilled meats, check out Uno Grille. They have a wide selection of skewers featuring everything from chicken to seafood.
Address: Grandpa’s Inn, 1 Bonifacio, Vigan City, Lalawigan ng Ilocos Sur
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8AM – 9PM / Sunday, 8AM – 10PM
Vigan is a beautiful heritage village in the Philippines known for its unique architecture. An architectural tour of Vigan, one can witness its Spanish-influenced houses and other structures, many of which still remain as they did hundreds of years ago.
It is an excellent place to visit to gain appreciation for Vigan’s past, and discover new respect for the culture and history of this picturesque village. An architectural tour of Vigan certainly paints a picture of how people lived their lives long ago.