Steel buildings are common place in modern architecture. Each metropolitan area is filled with steel sky scrapers, with factories in rural area also made of steel. However, at one time wood and brick were the primary building materials used. Slowly, in the 1800s, more and more steel buildings and towers began to spring up all over the world. It was at this time the San Sebastián Church was completed. The San Sebastián Church is the only all-steel church in Southeast Asia and was the first prefabricated steel church in the world.
Other steel structures being built at this time include the Eiffel Tower and the base of the Statue of Liberty, both designed by Gustave Eiffel. There are rumors that Eiffel also designed the San Sebastián and historian Ambeth Ocampo later confirmed that Eiffel had not designed the whole building but did design its metal structure. If you take a walk inside you can see Eiffel's signature design.
The first San Sebastián Church in Manila was built in 1621 by Don Bernardino Castillo. The original wood building was burned down in 1651 and the following brick structures were destroyed by fires and earthquakes in 1859, 1863, and 1800. The plan then was to build a structure which was fire and earthquake proof in the Baroque style. The play was a success and the San Sebastián Church that was completed in 1891 still stands today.