Santa Rosa was established as early as 1752. Sites that survived the passing of time can still be found. Some of these are the Bantayan (Santa Rosa Arch), Santa Rosa de Lima Parish, Cuartel de Santo Domingo, Old Municipal Building, Plaza and old Spanish Houses.
Bantayan (Santa Rosa Arch)
The Bantayan, also known as the Santa Rosa Arch, was patterned after the Arch de
Triumph of Paris. Located in front of the Leon Arcillas Memorial Building (former City Hall), i
ts modern design replaced the old guard tower used to guard against bandits during the Spanish colonial period.
The original Bantayan constructed between 1859 and 1860 during the administration of Arcadio Arambulo was situated in the vicinity of the present bridge.
Bantayan was renovated in 1925 during the term of Jose Zavalla. David Dia, a local sculptor, was commissioned to do the renovation. Changes made were the structured staircase, wrap around balcony, sunburst design on alcove, and grand lady with flaming torch.
Santa Rosa De Lima Church
The construction of the Santa Rosa de Lima Parish began with the arrival of Fray Francisco Favie of the Dominican Order in 1792. The first house of worship or chapel, also known as visita, was built beside the presidencia or the old municipal hall. The visita was also used as a venue for classes for primary education and cathechism.
In the early 20th century, Don Mariano Perlas, Sr. painted the church’s ceiling with religious images, however these were damaged and removed during the renovations done throughout the years
Built in 1817, the belfry of the church consists of seven bells named Santa Barbara, Santissimo Sacramento, Santo Domingo de Guzman, Santa Catalina, San Jose, San Juan Bautista and Santa Rosa.
An earthquake damaged the belfry sometime in 1879 to 1881.
Peruvian Ambassador Victor Aritomi presented the town a life-size image of the patroness last August 23, 1999 as a sign of goodwill.
Cuartel De Santo Domingo
The Cuartel de Santo Domingo is the ruin of an old Spanish fort that played a key role in the turn of the tide of the Philippine Revolution. It was recently declared as a national historical site by the National Historical Institute.
This was established in 1877 in Barangay Santo Domingo, near the Santa Rosa, Laguna – Silang, Cavite boundary, as headquarters of the Guardia Civil. Its purpose was to contain social banditry and brigandage endemic to the area from upland Cavite into the prosperous rice-producing lowlands of Laguna, particularly the Dominican haciendas of Santa Rosa and Biñan, considered the crown jewels. The Cuartel also provided armed sentinels to guard the hacienda’s upstream waterworks that provided yearlong water supply that irrigated the friarlands and assured abundant harvests for Santa Rosa and Biñan, accounting for the majestic Santa Rosa de Lima Parish Church put up by the Dominicans, assisted by generous donation of parishioners.
Old Spanish houses can still be found lining the streets of Santa Rosa’s poblacion. Within this old houses are a treasure trove of artifacts and memoirs of Philippine history collected by the city’s old families.