The Santa Monica Church Complex in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte
The Church of Sta. Monica was formerly named as the Church of San Miguel in commemoration of the arrival in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte of the first missionaries on the feast of the saint on September 29, 1724. It is said that Sarrat Church is the longest church in the province.
In 1983, the church entered into social lores as it was renovated in time for the grandest wedding held here. Estimated to have cost at $10M, the lavish wedding of Irene Marcos and Greggy Araneta was attended by 5,000 guests with a feast served to 100,000 people. An Intensity 7.8 earthquake destroyed church on September 7, or a few days after the wedding.
Beside the church is the convent or Casa del Palacio Real.The first convent was constructed in 1769 which served as the temporary church building. completely reduced to ashes by fire on March 16, 1816. Another convent was built under the supervision of Father Vicente Barreiro. It was finished in May 1817. It was burned again on October 18, 1882. The third convent was built and completed in June 1896.Like all other belfries in Ilocos Norte, the massive, square tower was built a few meters away from the church. The March 19, 1932 earthquake severely damaged the belfry.