Friday, March 16, 2012

Inside the Intramuros Walls

Fort Santiago
Some historical background about INTRAMUROS

Long before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, villages abounded along the banks of the Pasig River. One of these was a palisaded fort called Maynila. Ruled by Rajah Soliman,  a native chieftain, the citadel was a trade center for Asian goods.

Peace in the thriving community was shattered upon the arrival of the Spaniards led by master of camp Martin de Goiti and later by conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Fort Santiago is located in the norther part of the Walled City and one of the oldest fortifications in Manila.  The Spaniards under the term of Governor Gomez Peres DasmariƱas fortified what was originally stone structures. Other governors general continued to modernize Fort Santiago's defenses. Which makes it probably the best laid-out portion of the walls.

Along with increasing blog stories and good online reviews, a walking tour in Intramuros has becoming increasingly popular to foreign visitors and even locals wanting to reconnect with the past. Together with mom and sister, we tried to visit this charming streets of Intramuros for a day tour. Below are some interesting tourist spots you can see inside Intramuros.

Intramuros Visitors Center
chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe

calesas for hire
Gates of Fort Santiago

Rizal Shrine

Baluarte de Santa Barbara

tranvia - a replica of the pre-war Manila streetcars

foreign tourists in Fort Santiago

Manila Cathedral and Palacio del Gobernador

Palacio del Gobernador - State residence of the Governor General of the Philippines. Used as an air-raid shelter during World War II where 80 male civilians were massacred in 1945.

Bahay Tsinoy  and San Agustin Church

Bahay Tsinoy - also called Kaisa Heritage Center is a museum that showcases the tangible imprints and lasting influence of the Chinese whose presence in the Philippines dates back long before the Europeans sught alternate routes to the Moluccas.
San Agustin Church is the oldest church in the Philippines built in 1571

General Luna Street
Galeria de los Presidentes de la Republica Pilipina
Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum
Intramuros Golf Course

Puerta REal and Revellin de Real de Bagumbayan
Ravelin converted in Manila Aquarium during the American period and used as prison cells and barracks during Japanese occupation.

Today, efforts to preserve the Walled City and revive its illustrious past are stronger than ever. The present generation of the Filipinos have come to realize its value as a national heritage. As in the days of our forefathers, Intramuros is a priceless treasure to be shared with the world.

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