St. William’s Bell Tower: A Structure That Sinks


  • Edsel Harry R. Turda Department of Education-Laoag City, Brgy 23, San Matias, P. Gomez St. Laoag City, Philippines



St. William's Bell Tower, Structure That Sinks, Case Study, Laoag City, Cultural Heritage


This study focuses on the Sinking Bell Tower’s mysterious history and structural attributes. Located approximately 80 meters from St. William’s Cathedral, this architectural oddity has puzzled visitors for centuries. Built after the 1707 earthquake, the tower exhibits remarkable resilience against minor seismic events, earning its classification as Earthquake Baroque style. Local artisans used bricks, molasses, and sablot plant leaves to construct the tower, resulting in a sturdy structure that stands at almost 150 feet. Historical accounts describe horseback riders passing through the tower’s gates, an improbable feat today due to its lowered entrance. Additionally, the tower is believed to sink about an inch annually, leading to various theories about its subsidence, primarily linked to its sandy foundation and massive structure. This study interviewed 20 respondents, including students, tourists, and professionals, to determine whether the tower is genuinely sinking or if the land is rising. Most respondents (15 out of 20) believe that the Bell Tower is sinking, citing reasons such as the sandy foundation, the tower’s weight, and its pointed base pushing the land downward. On the other hand, five respondents remain skeptical, attributing the sinking appearance to an optical illusion.From the majority responses of this study, the research affirms the belief that the Sinking Bell Tower is indeed sinking. Preserving this unique heritage is crucial, as it represents the region’s history and serves as a symbol of the enduring past and a window to the future. The study advocates for the continued protection of this cultural treasure, ensuring its historical significance endures for future generations.


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How to Cite

Turda, E. H. R. (2024). St. William’s Bell Tower: A Structure That Sinks. American Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Innovation, 3(3), 10–15.