Santa Clara Street, Manila, Philippines
Fort Santiago Manila Reviews
Fort Santiago Nov 02, 2011
I would like to welcome you to one of the historical places we have in Philippines, the Fort Santiago. Fort Santiago can be found inside the Intramuros or known as the Walled City during Hispanic era. Long before the Philippines had been colonized by Spaniards, Fort Santiago was the fort of Rajah Soliman’s. Fort Santiago is famous because the place was part and played a big part in our history. This is just one of the remembrances from the three hundred years colonization. It left us with remarkable sceneries to remind us of what happened to the past.
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Fort Santiago (Fuerza de Santiago) - a must see in the Walled City Aug 13, 2008
I love Fort Santiago. It's special to me being the very first historical site I was able to visit in Luzon. And I love the fact that it's located in the heart of the city.
I have brought many friends to the fort every time I'm in Manila and the latest was last July with TravBuddies (minx2812, moonvera, nomaden and silenblack). We were there hours before the Philippine TravBuddy grand meet-up last July 17.
We each paid 50 pesos (1 US dollar) as entrance fee. From there, you can see souvenir shops on your left, a chapel, a golf course, the beautiful park, then the fort gate, memorial cross, the dungeons, the Baluarte de Santa Barbara, the Plaza Armas, the Rizaliana furniture and the Rajah Sulayman Theater. Well, that is what I have remembered so far. ",)
Fort Santiago or Fuerza de Santiago is a good way of rediscovering Manila. It holds significant historical value being 437 years old and a silent witness to the jouney and cry for freedom of the Filipino people -from pre-Spanish era to the Spanish colonization up to the American times, Japanese occupation (on which the fort was used as prison) and up to the present time.
Before the Spaniards came, it was the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suliman, then chieftain of Manila.
Fuerza de Santiago came into being on 1571 and had been destroyed and restored many times.
Jose Rizal, the country's national hero, was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896. When you visit Fort Santiago, you can see Rizal's final footsteps embedded in the ground to represent his final walk from his prison cell to the location of his actual execution.
Although ruined, the fort had been made into a park and when you're on top of the fort, you got a good view of the Pasig River, the china town, pier and Manila Cathedral along with other sites from the walled city of Intramuros.
Well, there are calezas you can hopped on to although they are a bit expensive at 200 pesos each (but at least you got a free ride and a guide).
What I missed in the fort are the food in the picnic grounds. They are no longer there. So, if ever you plan to tour the fort (which can be done in an hour or so) it would be helpful to bring your own water ;)
After the tour, you can alway opt to visit other sites in Intramuros (the walled city) such as the museums of Casa Manila, Bahay Tsinoy, walk-the-walls tour and more ;)
And oh, I almost forgot. Fort Santiago is within Intramuros of the city of Manila, a few meters away from Luneta, the Manila Hotel and Manila Ocean Park. The entrance to the fort is near the Embassy of Chile and behind the city' fire station ;) Hope this helps...
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Nov 19, 2007
The location where Fort Santiago is today, was once the site of the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suliman, chieftain of Manila of pre-Spanish era. However it was destroyed by the Spanish upon arriveing in 1570. Bloody fights with native Muslim and Tagaloq groups let to the palaces destruction and the rise of Fort Santiago, build for Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi.
It is part of the structures of the walls of Intramuros - the walled city, where the spanish upper class and the few selcted good native people lived their protected lifes. It was also in this fortress that Dr. Rizal was imprisoned.
Once you enter Fort Santiago you come into a big courtyard which is today made out as a very beautyfull park. The middle of the courtyard is an oasis of springwater and palmtrees and the sorounding ruins and old guns and canons makes it both an interesting history lesson where you feel as if you are walking back in time as well as an escape from bustling metropolis of Manila.
On the left hand side from the entrance, you'll find an exhibition of warmachines dureing World War II and the wars impact on Intramuros.
After crossing the moat you enter a smaller courtyard which is one of the most beautyfull gardens in Manila, and a magnificent view over the Pasig River. This area of Fort Santiago is also home to the Rizal Shrine Musseum which unfortunately was closed when I was there.
But there's also left room to think about what kind of a world we live in - in one corner you'll find the memorial to those 600 bodies burried in a massgrave by the japaneese dureing World War II.
Overall Santiago is both educational, interesting and relaxing and a major experience that should be shared with someone close to you. It's easy to spend a couple of hours there.
Part of the Philippines 2007 travel blog
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