Capilla Sta. Ana
Our newly discovered tourist attraction in Toledo City is the Capilla Sta. Ana. It is a private chapel and museum owned by William Overs, an Irish-Canadian, now deceased, and Lilian Yared Overs, a Toledo native. The fully air-conditioned chapel houses religious icons, relics of saints, antique statues, and Renaissance paintings sourced mainly from Europe during their travels.
A 30-minute guided tour within the chapel is given to several guests. The museum guide explains everything in detail from the source down to the age of each article.
There are five rooms inside the chapel where galleries can be accessed only with a museum guide since the most priceless collections are kept inside. For security reasons, taking photos and videos of the articles inside the galleries is strictly prohibited. The first room is where some of the very rare collections of paintings and unique religious images of the Blessed Virgin Mary are maintained. While another room showcases priceless collections of some saint’s relic and religious articles from way back centuries ago. There is also another room for baptistry where centuries-old paintings and other religious articles are on display, the majority of these articles came from France. There is also a pre-school classroom of their charitable foundation.
According to our tour guide, the main door of the chapel came from India. This antique door’s studs represent the wealth of the owner. The more studs, the more wealth the owner has in India.
The main altar’s cross is estimated to be 400 to 600 years old, seen here also are the 17th century old altar table, bishop chair and pews all came from Europe while lamps the chandiliers came from Quebec, Canada.
Some of the unique collections inside the chapel:
A beautiful antique candelabra with Virgin Mary’s image is displayed just before entering the chapel. The lighting of candles here is not allowed because of its old age.
There are three collections of Sto. Nino acquired locally at auctions during the couple’s visit to Cebu. Two of them can be viewed at the chapel’s entrance, while the third one is kept inside the museum and cannot be photographed.
Just beside the museum, is a replica of PIETA made of limestone of the world-famous Michael Angelo is displayed. According to the museum guide, 1/3 of the ashes of the owner, Michael Overs was put beneath the statue.
The mezzanine of the chapel can be used by the choir during the masses. It also houses religious artifacts and a piano organ from the 18th century.
This 1859 Steinway piano on display came from New York. It was used by the choir during mass in the early years. Some keys are still functioning while other keys are not.
Framed vestments of European priests are displayed on both sides of the room.
No regular mass is being held here but a special mass like a renewal of vows can be requested from the owner. No priest assigned here so requestor must provide an officiating priest for the mass celebration.
Besides the chapel is a LABYRINTH, a 25-meter diameter pathway with an intricate design that is confusing to take. The purpose of the labyrinth is for meditation. relaxation and reciting a rosary.
The labyrinth in Capilla Sta. Ana has shorter plants thus, people can see the pathways. However, it is still challenging and tiring to walk through the pathway.
Once you go inside, there is no other way out but to continue until you finish the maze. It’s really tiring but fun. Warning: do not attempt to go inside under the heat of the sun. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes going in and another 20 to 30 minutes going out. Better bring an umbrella and water bottle to keep you hydrated.
It was said that by the time you finished the Rosary, you will be at the center of the maze where the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus is waiting. You may take a rest and have some photos at this beautiful spot.
Admission Fee of P100 for the local guests, 50 for the students, and P200 for foreign tourists. Fees collected go directly to their foundation.
Address: 920 Diosdado Macapagal Highway, Poblacion, Toledo City, 6038 Cebu.
Contact number: (032) 467 8101
The place is well kept and the staff is very knowledgeable and accommodating. Galleries are endlessly fascinating and surprisingly beautiful. Getting inside the labyrinth is tiresome yet enjoyable. Capilla Sta. Ana is one of the must-sees places in Toledo City, Cebu Philippines.
With my travel buddy, Lis Jimeno and Levie Michell Archivido
Thank you for reading our story!
God bless always!
Capilla Sta. Ana Location
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