Like many other churches in Manila, the church has been destroyed on several occasions. The church was initially built in 1571, but was destroyed by fire in 1574.
The church was rebuilt, and was again burned by fire in 1583.
Construction was again started in 1586. The church became operational in 1604, and was officially completed in 1607, and was named St. Paul of Manila.
The bell tower was damaged by a major earthquake in 1880, and was subsequently removed after initially being repaired.
The church was turned into a concentration camp by the Japanese during World War II.
The church appears large, but not too large from the tiny parking lot. Once inside, you will see that the church is absolutely massive and is two stories tall. Plan on spending at least two hours if seeing everything within the church.
There is a nominal fee to see the church, but is well worth it.