Arch of the Centuries

Arch of the Centuries

The Arch of the Centuries is a monument in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) at Manila, that stands fifteen meters away from the University's main vehicular entrance along España Boulevard.

The Arch of the Centuries was originally erected in 1611 at Intramuros, where UST was originally found. When the University transferred to its present location at Sampaloc, the Arch was also carried piece-by-piece and was re-erected at the front of the main vehicular entrance of the University. [ [ RP architecture as tourism destinations] B. Carreon, "Manila Bulletin". Published 2000-12-11]

The original Arch which faces the Main Building was the main doorway to the university building before it was destroyed during World War II when it was at Intramuros. A newer arch faced España Boulevard, which is a reconstruction of the original arch. [ Arch of the Centuries] [] . Accessed 2006-08-12]

The Arch contains Doric columns, but is Baroque in its details. The inscription on the arch says "Gateway to the history of the finest breed of Filipinos," a reference to the numerous alumni who have made an impact in Philippine history. On the left pillar of the facade facing España Boulevard is commemorative plaque honoring national hero José Rizal, and on the right pillar is another plaque honoring President Manuel L. Quezon. Both Rizal and Quezon were UST graduates.

On the sides at the top of the Arch are panels depicting the life of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of the University and of all Catholic schools.

All incoming students (freshmen and transferees), as parts of their initiation rites into the University, known as the "Thomasian Welcome Walk" are required to pass through under the Arch. [ [ Recollection and freshmen walk] [ I Can Conquer All blog] . Accessed 2006-08-12] Graduates, on the other hand, also pass through under the Arch before the University sends them off. [ [ BACCALAUREATE 2003] [ UST Webservice] (originally in PDF but is linked to a Google HTML equivalent). Accessed 2006-08-12] This tradition started on June 2002. a Fireworks display ends the passage and signals the party afterwards.

There is an old superstition that while studying at the University, you must never pass through the Arch until your Graduation.If done so, an event will happen that will not allow you to Graduate at the school.


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