One of the less visited old churches in the island of Bohol, the Calape Catholic Church is a Gothic-inspired place for public worship dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer.
Named after a type of rattan, locally named as kalapi or kapi, the town of Calape, as well as the church established in 1802, is situated about 40 kilometers northwest of Tagbilaran City.
Calape is on the western coast of Bohol. The town was established in 1802. The first settlers were said to be immigrants from other places such as Cebu, and other municipalities.
Before the town and parish were established, the priests from neighboring town of Loon served in Calape. In 1829, the followers of Francisco Dagohoy were enticed to settle in the area. The Recollects took charge of the parish until 1898 when it was turned over to the seculars. An old tabique and wooden church was replaced by one in the neogothic style commenced in 1933 and completed two decades later in 1954.
The Calape Catholic Church is a good example how colonial styles persisted even if the Spaniards who promoted them had already left. An author describes the church as the “epitome of Bohol Gothic.” All of the structure is a lintel and post type, gothic features like lancet arches, rose window, spires and crockets are merely decorative. The pediment has a rose window although it functions as an ornament rather than a real opening to the church interior.
A typical Bohol feature, but definitely not gothic, is the portico built in front of the façade, an extension of the choir loft. Gothicizing elements are found in the interior on the altars and event the confessionals. The transept is an addition to the original plan and is rather narrow.
The church is attributed to two builders, Eliseo Josol y Villamayor and Rosalio Real y Oppus, who were said to have been shown a picture of the Santo Domingo church in Intramuros, which they used as a model.
A historic bell dated 1690 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist by Bachiller Juan Alfonso Ruiz, is found in the bell tower. This bell came from the defunct Parian parish in Cebu, ordered dissolved, resulting in the demolition of the church in 1878-79.
Calape celebrate its town fiesta on the 10th of May in honor of Saint Vincent Ferrer.