The Taj Mahal in Cebu- Commemorating the Demise of Leah
Updated: Jan 15, 2022
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Roman and Greek Architecture
A popular European monument located in the Barangay Busayon on Roosevelt Street in Cebu city is the Temple of Leah. We paid the entrance fee of 50 pesos and proceeded towards the Temple. At the end of a straight path, there was a tent set up and a Filipino checking tickets. He checked our tickets and gave us permission to enter.
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Mirroring the Taj Mahal in India
A first glance of this shiny gold Temple of Leah was just breathtaking and absolutely stunning. I had to remind myself that I was not in India viewing the white marble Taj Mahal; but, understanding the history of the Temple of Leah made me think I was visiting India. For the history of both the Taj Mahal and the Temple of Leah are similar. Both husbands constructed the temples based upon their undying love for their wives.
History of the Temple of Leah
The luxurious temple was erected by Teodorico Adarna (Leah’s husband, the Grandfather of Actress Ellen Adarna) for his beloved wife, Leah Villa Albino- Adarna in remembrance of his undying love and devotion for her. Tragically, in 2010, Leah’s demise came about as a result of her lost battle with cancer. The marvelous temple mirrors the Taj Mahal.
Erecting of the Temple of Leah
Constructed in 2012, the 9 foot bronze statute of Queen Leah statue has dramatically drawn an influx of tourists from all over the world. Consisting of 24 chambers, the temple eloquently features a museum, art gallery, bar, and it is surrounded by statues of gigantic lions and Roman soldiers. In fact, two large lions guard the entrance to the Temple of Leah. You will also find marble like columns that decorate the temple.
Stepping into India and Greece Simultaneously
After marveling over the history of the Temple of Leah and reminiscing about the story of the Taj Mahal, I was struck in awe by the Greek and Roman architecture. Understanding the story of the Taj Mahal, it seemed as if I was in India and Greece at the same time. The intricate Roman and Greek architecture surrounding the temple was impressive.
Statue of Leah Commemorating Her Death
The temple is currently still under construction until 2020. Behind her are two angelic beings that are etched into a decorated stainless glass window. Furthermore, there is a marvelous staircase inside the temple that features brass angels.
This is the 9 foot Temple of Leah statue.
An Golden Angel blowing a trumpet
Once we were finished admiring the beauty of the interior and exterior of the temple, we were enthralled by the magnificent panoramic view of the city of Cebu. Each work of art has a special significance. I experienced difficulty interpreting the poses of the statues though.
The backdrop of Cebu City was just spectacular. It was a very clear night and you could see the city from a far. We were wearing black shirts therefore making the night sky photo even better.
A spectacular view of Cebu City
Standing next to a lion statue at the entrance to the Temple of Leah. The entrance is guarded by two lion statues.
We are surrounded by a cherubim of golden birds.
A Roman solder statue
A Roman soldier imitating himself shooting a bow and arrow.
It is preferred to go to the Temple in the early morning or late evening to avoid the scorching sun beating down upon you.
Bring your power bank.
Charge your cameras and phones.
How to Get to Temple of Leah
Taxi: If you are coming from downtown Cebu, you can find a taxi at JY square, which is located at #1 Salinas Drive in Lahug. Tell the driver you want to go to the Temple of Leah. The total trip will be 15-20 minutes depending upon traffic. The cost may be around 200 pesos or $3.83.
Car: If you are driving your personal vehicle or rental vehicle in Cebu City, you will follow the Busay route and you will continue through Roosevelt Street. The street will lead to Lantaw restaurant and the beautiful Mountain View Nature’s Park.
Habal-Habal: A habal habal is a motorcycle. You can find one at JY mall and the trip may cost between 100-150 pesos or $1.91-$2.87.
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