Friday, November 14, 2014

Arch of the Centuries, University of Santo Tomas (Founded 1611)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Professor, UST
Living with Nature School on Blog 


The Arch of the Centuries was originally erected in 1611 at Intramuros, where UST was originally established. When the university transferred to its present location at Sampaloc, the Arch was also carried piece-by-piece and was re-erected at 
the present Plaza Intramuros in 1954.



The original Arch which faces the Main Building was the main doorway to the university building before it was destroyed during World War II when it was at 
Intramuros. A newer arch faced España Boulevard, which is a reconstruction of the original arch.
In January 25, 2010, it was declared a National Cultural Treasure, along with the University Main Building, the Central Seminary Building, and the university field, by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Arch of Centuries in Intramuros before and after WW II. 



The Arch contains Doric columns, but is Baroque in its details. The inscription on the arch says "Gateway to the history of the finest breed of Filipinos," a reference to the numerous alumni who have made an impact in Philippine history. On the left pillar of the facade facing España Boulevard is commemorative plaque honoring national hero José Rizal, and on the right pillar is another plaque honoring President Manuel L. Quezon; both being UST alumni.



On the sides at the top of the Arch are panels depicting the life of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of the university and of all Catholic educational institutions. (Wikipedia)
The Arch during the Lenten Season.  It is one of the Stations of the Cross.  
The Arch is the most popular vantage point for photography. It is a favorite location for class pictures such as this one. Author is at the middle in dark shirt.    
----------------------------------
The Arch Myth: Superstition has it that once you enter the Arch, you are not allowed to exit before you graduate, or else your stay in the university would be cut short. There had been countless tales of students who dared to break it though none can prove of its validity.
---------------------------------
Symbolically, the Arch stands brave and strong in inclement weather 
- physical and social - for more than 400 years.  
The Arch gloriously glows with the Christmas spirit during the traditional Paskohan of the University. 
The two faces of the Arch of the Centuries UST  
The original Arch which faces the Main Building was the main doorway to the university building before it was destroyed during World War II when it was at Intramuros (left side). A newer arch faced España Boulevard, which is a reconstruction of the original arch (right).
Acknowledgement: UST Website, Wikipedia, artists and photographers whose works attracted many viewers of this post. . 

No comments: