INTRAMUROS AGAIN WELCOMES NIGHT VISITORS TO FORT SANTIAGO
The Walled City of Intramuros in Manila is again welcoming adventurous night visitors to Fort Santiago, the former wartime fortress which jailed prisoners of Spanish, British, American, and Japanese occupation forces, including Filipino national hero, Jose Rizal.
Fort Santiago’s opening its gates at night was announced on March 16, 2023, three years after it first offered night tours to its dungeons to the public in early 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak hit pandemic proportions. Today, private night walking tours around Intramuros again include the Spanish colonial fortress in their itinerary.
The historic fortress offers the following attractions:
- Moat, restored in the 1980s together with the main gate, this man-made canal joined the Pasig River and Manila Bay, making Fort Santiago a veritable island
- Fort Santiago Gate is decorated by a wood relief carving of Santiago Matamoros (St. James, the “Moor-slayer”), the patron saint of Spain, together with the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon
- Museo ni Rizal, a shrine reaffirming Rizal’s significance in Philippine history and how his death served as the inspiration in the struggle for Philippine independence
- Chapel Cell at the Rajah Soliman Theater where Jose Rizal was jailed before he was executed in 1896
- Rajah Soliman Theater, formerly the Infantry Quarters of Fort Santiago, but destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945, was renovated in 1967 by National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin and turned into an open-air theater for the use of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)
- Dungeons below were originally used as powder magazines until the dampness proved detrimental to storing gunpowder, which led to their conversion into prison cells
- Plaza de Armas at the center of Fort Santiago
- Plaza Moriones used as a public promenade
- Intramuros Visitors Center is equipped with an information center, audio-visual chamber, refreshment kiosks, and souvenir shops
- iMake History Fortress LEGO Education Center inside the chambers of the Baluarte de Santa Barbara where visitors could look at LEGO models of lost landmarks in Intramuros as well as miniatures of other places of interest in the Philippines
- Baluartes, ruins, and galleries
Go to this link for more information about the sites: intramuros.gov.ph/hours
Here is the Fort Santiago schedule:
Monday to Friday:
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Last entry: 9:00 p.m.
Sat to Sun:
6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Last entry: 9:00 p.m.
Entrance Fee: PHP 75.00 (regular). PHP 50.00 (discounted rate for PWDs, children, students, and senior citizens).
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