Calape Church

The Calape church is gothic-inspired. The town of Calape is named after type of rattan, called locally kapi or kalapi. Both town and parish dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer were founded in 1802.

However, the settlement was already being served by priests from neighboring town of Loon before this date. In 1829, remnants of Dagohoy’s followers, some 1500 were coxed to settle in the area. The Recollects took charge of the parish until 1898 when it was turned over to the seculars. An old tabique and wooden church was replaced by one in the neogothic style commenced in 1933 and completed two decades later in 1954.

Calape Church

Calape Church before Bohol Earthquake 2013

Calape church is a good example how colonial styles persisted even if the Spaniards who promoted them had already left. An author describes the church as the “epitome of Bohol Gothic.” All of the structure is basically a lintel and post type, gothic features like lancet arches, rose window, spires and crockets are merely decorative. The pediment has a rose window although it functions as an ornament rather than a real opening to the church interior.

A typical Bohol feature, but definitely not gothic, is the portico built in front of the façade, an extension of the choir loft. Gothicizing elements are found in the interior on the altars and event the confessionals. The transept is an addition to the original plan and is rather narrow.

The church is attributed to two builders, Eliseo Josol y Villamayor and Rosalio Real y Oppus, who were said to have been shown a picture of the Santo Domingo church in Intramuros, which they used as a model.

A historic bell dated 1690 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist by Bachiller Juan Alfonso Ruiz, is found in the bell tower. This bell came from the defunct Parian parish in Cebu, ordered dissolved, resulting in the demolition of the church in 1878-79.