Fort Santiago is a defense fortress built for Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The fort is part of the structures of the walled city of Intramuros, in Manila, Philippines. Jose Rizal, the Philippines' national hero, was imprisoned in the fort before his execution in 1896. the site features, embedded onto the ground in bronze, his final footsteps representing the walk from his cell to the location of the actual execution.
Fort Santiago, a 16th century military defense structure, stands witness to the valor and heroism of the Filipino through the centuries.Adaptive use of this famous historical landmark makes certain areas ideal for open air theater,picnics,and promenades. The Intramuros Visitors center gives an overview of the various attractions in the walled city.
The location of Fort Santiago was once the site of a wooden fort of Rajah Sulaiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila. It was destroyed by the conquistadors (Martin de Goiti) when, upon arriving in 1570, they fought several battles with the Islamic natives. The Spaniards built the Fuerza de Santiago and the fortified city of Intramuros in 1571, and made Manila the capital of the Philippines.
The fort today
Fort Santiago, the 16th century military defense structure, stands witness to the valor and heroism of the Filipino through the centuries. Today, the fort, its bastions, and the prison dungeons for criminals used by the Spanish officials, is now part of a historical park which also includes the Plaza del Moriones (also called the Plaza de Armas) and several ruins. The park houses well-preserved legacies from the Spanish Colonial Period including Jose Rizal memorabilia at the Rizal Shrine. Adaptive use of this famous historical landmark makes certain areas ideal for open air theater, picnics, and as a promenade. The Intramuros Visitors center gives an overview of the various attractions in the walled city.
Preserving the fort
After is 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.