4 POINTS OF INTERESTS | INTRAMUROS
“Within the walls” is the English translation of the Latin word, “Intramuros”. Located in the capital city of the Philippines which is Manila, Intramuros is considered the oldest district of the said city. The entire district is surrounded by massive stone walls and barricades that are around three-mile long. It was built on the late 1500s and became the center of government, education, commerce, and religion. It also became a home of thousands of Spanish colonists, their families, and their Filipino servants. During World War II, it was damaged but was restored around 1951 and then became a National Historical Monument.
At present times, there are a lot of places to visit this district – historic walls, gates and fortifications, plazas and monuments, churches, museums, ruins, and etc.
To give you an overview, here are some popular areas inside Intramuros:
Fort Santiago is a major landmark not only in the Manila but in the whole country as our national hero, Jose Rizal, was imprisoned here prior to his execution day. The iconic gate of the area that features the patron saint of Spain, Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moor-slayer) was restored after experiencing a heavy damaged on 1945. The place has a memorial museum of Jose Rizal, a park and an area overlooking Pasig River. Fort Santiago is open daily, from 8:00AM to 6:00PM; it has an entrance fee of 75php for adults and 50php for students (school ID shall be presented).
Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
One of the most important churches in the country, Manila Cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. During the Spanish colonial time, the cathedral was the seat of the Spanish Archbishop of Manila. There is a small exhibit in one of the side chapels and it depicts the Cathedral’s history. It also became the final resting place of the former Archbishop in Manila which includes Jaime Cardinal Sin. It is located just around 5 to 10 minutes of walk from the main gate of Fort Santiago. Masses are offered daily and it is free but donations will be appreciated.
Casa Manila resembles a typical Spanish mansion. The whole place is filled with antique furniture, artifacts, and artwork. While inside, you can definitely imagine how life is for the upper-class family of that era. Casa Manila is open daily, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; it has an entrance fee of 75php for adults and 50php for students (school ID shall be presented).
San Diego Gardens and Baluarte De San Diego
With its beautiful garden, pathways, fountains and attractive pavilion, this place is now popular for weddings and other special occasions. A part of the place gives an impressive view of the Manila skyline making this perfect for a photoshoot. On the other hand, there are original canons, three large rings of stone, a lookout post, and ancient walls and structures that are covered with moss – all depict the history of the place.
These mentioned places are just a few of the many places to go to inside Intramuros. You can roam around the area with a choice of having kalesa tours, pedicab tours, scheduled walking tours, or self –walking tours.
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