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Fort Santiago Intramuros Manila

Monument to Santiago above Front Gate at Fort Santiago Intramuros

Fort Santiago, Intramuros , Manila

  • Fort Santiago is a Spanish fortress located near the mouth of the Pasig River in the old town of Manila. Construction was commenced in June 1571. The location was originally the place of a wooden structure ( ‘’palisaded fort’’ ) constructed by Muslim locals ruled by Rajah Sulaiman the local chieftain in pre-Hispanic Manila. Sulaiman was the 16th Sultan and one of three in the region which is now Manila. In modern history the Basque Spanish conquistador, Marin de Goiti, is credited with founding the City of Intramuros and Fort Santiago in June 1570. In reality the Spaniards declared war on the local communities, destroyed them and occupied the village lands and burned their settlements.
  • During the next five years comprising 1570 to 1575 inclusive, the fort which was constructed of timber and earth was used to fend of guerrilla warfare with the local population and in 1574 a battle with some 3,000 Chinese pirates under the command of the pirate leader, Limahong. In 1574 de Goiti and many Spaniards were massacred by the Chinese pirates.
  • Fort Santiago is 2,030 feet ( or 620 meters ) in perimeter and is shaped like a triangle. This fortification is also part of the greater fort which is Intramuros and in which was the old city of the Spanish Regime in Manila. The walls are 22 feet high ( 6.7 meters ) and are 8 feet thick ( 2.4 meters ). Tourists can walk along these walls and to do so gives a good idea of the old sea port and adjoining river which once was the source of water for the moat. It was for here that for 333 years Spain ruled and the Spanish Galleons set sale to Acapulco in Mexico ( New Spain ).
  • Tourists now enter through the South Gate depicted here in the images. On either side is a semi bastion, the Bastion of San Fernando on the river side and Bastion of San Miguel to the bay. The water way to the front is the old moat which separated the Fort from the City of Intramuros. Above the front entrance is the 40 foot tall (12 meters ) facade also depicted here in photos.
  • On the north west corner there is a ''cavalier'' named Santa Barbara which comprises three batteries, one facing the entrance, one facing the sea entrance to protect the anchorage facilities of the time and the third facing over the Pasig River which flows past the Fort's northern wall. Here also is a tower providing entrance between the lower and higher levels of the defense network.

Rizal Walkway Inside Fort Santiago To Execution By Spanish