Ilocos is a home of historical and architectural features. The Sinking Bell Tower of Laoag is a century old 45-meter tall bell tower built by the Augustinian Friars in 1612. The construction is a typical earthquake baroque. Built by old brick and stone-faced with lime stucco plaster, the tower rises in 4 tiers. The base with its massive rounder corners supports the graduated upper tiers noted for its graceful curved buttresses and corner treatments giving its early baroque appearance. The tower is crowned by a double dome topped with a cross and housed 6 bells of different sizes. Way up thru a vaulted tunnel leading to a winding wooden stairway. The high pitch ringing sound of the third tier can be heard in a neighboring town, it’s a joyful noise of adoration and to call attention to those unable to hear mass.
Because of its great weight, over the years, the soil greatly weakened losing structural support causing the bell tower to sunk a rate of an inch a year, that’s why it is called the ”Sinking Bell Tower” According to history when a person on horseback once could enter the vaulted entrance without stooping. Now, a person of ordinary height has to stoop to enter thru the door.