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Vigan: A piece of Spain in Asia

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Vigan - Philippines
The City of Vigan  is a 5th class city in the province of Ilocos SurPhilippines.
Vigan - Philippines
It is a World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines


Vigan - Philippines
At the time of Spanish colonisation, the Chinese settlers, whose language was Southern Fujianese  referred to the area as "Bee Gan"  which means "Beautiful Shore." 


Vigan - Philippines
Vigan's Chinese heritage is still evident from the numerous elite Chinese creole families who come from the area, many of whom adopted Hispanic family names. 


Vigan - Philippines
Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia.  
Vigan - Philippines
Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines, from China and from Europe, resulting in a culture and townscape that have no parallel anywhere in East and South-East Asia.


Vigan - Philippines
 The architecture is truly reflective of its roots in both materials and design, in its fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.


Vigan - Philippines
The town is located in the delta of the Abra River, off the coastal plain of the China Sea, close to the north-east tip of the island of Luzon. 


Vigan - Philippines
The present-day municipality divided into nine urban districts and thirty rural villages.


Vigan - Philippines
The building materials used in Vigan are terracotta, wood, shells, stone and lime, all obtained from the surrounding area. 





Vigan - Philippines
Such structures are no longer to be found in Vigan, but their influence is discernible in the much larger bahay na bato (stone house).


Vigan - Philippines
The exterior walls of the upper storey are enclosed by window panels of kapis shells framed in wood which can be slid back for better ventilation.
Vigan - Philippines
There is a helpful and friendly provincial tourist information office south west of Plaza Burgos (next to Cafe Leona) that can dispense information on Vigan and the rest of Ilocos Sur.


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