Is one of the most important historical sites and oldest fortification in Manila, it was built in 1571 by the Spanish as a defensive fortress designed to protect the newly formed city of Manila. It is a key feature of the famous Walled City of Manila, which is referred to as Intramuros.
Today, this beautiful, 16th century structure is home to a shrine dedicated to Rizal, which includes an eerie set of footprints painted onto the street outlining the great man’s final step José Rizal, considered a national hero in the Philippines, was imprisoned at Fort Santiago before his execution in 1896 as he was led to his death.
After its destruction during WWII, Fort Santiago was declared as a Shrine of Freedom in 1950. Its restoration by the Philippine government did not begin till 1953 under the hands of the National Parks Development Committee. The Intramuros Administration now manages the reconstruction, maintenance, and management of the fort since 1992, it was also used as a depot for the U.S Transportation Corps before being turned over to the Philippine government in 1946.
It is frequented by both foreign visitors and locals seeking a pleasant afternoon of leisure with family and friends. While there, be sure to check out the Intramuros Visitors Center, which gives an overview of the various other attractions in the district.
Fort Santiago is ideal for picnics and scenic walks, and the extensive military history and impressive architecture make it an absolute must for visitors to the city, so be sure to include it on your agenda. Plan at least a few hours to explore the grounds and soak up the long history of the place it is a true wonder of Manila.