Old Taal Church Ruins (Original Church of St. Martin de Tours):
In 1572, Fr. Agustin de Albuquerque was the first Augustinian priest that came and gathered the natives to Balangon, the original Town of Taal. In 1575, the Moro Pirates destroyed Balangon and the town was transferred to Lumang Taal (Old Taal), near the shores of Lake Taal (currently San Nicolas). In 1575, Fray Diego de Espinar, the credited founding Augustinian missionary of Taal, started building the original church dedicated to St. Martin de Tours.
In 1754, the town was destroyed by the biggest eruption of Taal Volcano. These are the ruins of the original St. Martin de Tours Church, which was by far smaller in size to the current Basilica. After the volcanic destruction, the town of Taal moved to its current location atop a hill, where the massive St. Martin de Tours Basilica now sits. Parish priest Fray Martin Aguirre was responsible for moving the town to its current location and laying the foundations of the new church in 1755.
A Statue of St. Martin de Tours now stands on the site of the “Old Taal Town” along the lakeshore.