Undying History of Intramuros - Isla Story

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Undying History of Intramuros

As you enter the famous Walled City of Intramuros, feel like you’ve traveled back to the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. From its cobbled streets to the giant stone fortress, it was the center of government, education, commerce, and religion back then!

Intramuros was built 300 years ago by the Spaniards making it the oldest district of Manila. Just one visit in this historical site will surely make you learn more about the Philippines. Take it from us, wherever you lay your eyes on this place, you’ll never run out of sights to appreciate and take snaps too.

While some of its landscape has evolved through the years, still, its charm hasn’t changed and its undying history continues to live on. Planning to spend a day exploring Intramuros? Here are the places worth checking out and activities to try to get a taste of history inside The Walled City:

The Walls

Known to be “The Walled City”, Intramuros is surrounded by thick stone walls where you can stroll around all day. Standing at about 22 feet tall and 8 feet wide, it truly is amazing to think that these fortifications are so sturdy that it resisted the past wars. You can also actually climb these walls giving you a different perspective of the streets within Intramuros and the golf course beyond it.

Fort Santiago

Take a walk down in memory lane in the oldest Hispanic stone fortress in the Philippines! Fort Santiago was used to be a military headquarters of the Spaniards. It was also used as storage for gun powders and jail for prisoners. Though heavily damaged during the Battle of Manila last 1945, most parts of the fortress were restored and so its iconic gate. This is also where Jose Rizal (Philippine's National Hero) was imprisoned before he was executed on December 30, 1896.

Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral, also known as Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a premier church, the first cathedral, and one of the most important churches in the Philippines. Though it has gone through several major reconstructions after suffering from different natural disasters and being a victim of war, this church still stands remarkably inside The Walled City. But aside from its religious value, marvel at its architectural features, marble floors, tall columns, and intricate high ceilings showcasing art and sanctity of Catholicism all at once!


There are two ways for you to enjoy Intramuros, a walking tour or a sweet Kalesa ride! It is a horse-driven carriage used during the time of the Spanish occupation but were mostly reserved for high officials during that era. Today, these kalesas now serves as a leisure ride for both locals and tourist. So, sit back and admire the walled city the same way the Spaniards did centuries ago!

San Agustin Church

Who would have thought that inside the walls of Intramuros lies a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Take a glimpse inside San Agustin, the oldest stone church in the Philippines and the only church in Intramuros that withstood World War II and natural disasters. Get stunned with its facade with a unique Spanish Baroque architecture, high altar, and splendid ceilings. For the past years, its walls have stood as a mute witness to Philippine history.

Falsabraga de Media Naranja

When you’re already inside the Fort Santiago, don’t miss the chance to go to Falsabraga de Media Naranja. Formerly a dungeon, it was used as storage vaults and powder magazines. Its location was also a prime reason why the Spaniards built it on top of the Baluarte in 1718. This part of Intramuros offers a great view of the Pasig River and some of Manila’s skyline.

Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

To complete your historical day trip, eat your heart out at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant! Not only that they serve authentic Filipino foods, but you'll also get entertained by various cultural dance performances from all around the country. Make sure to come hungry so you can try all of the dishes from their grand buffet!

For hundreds of years, Intramuros was Manila itself. Its walls did not only serve as a defense, but also as witness to the city’s stormy years. With all those memories that lie within its walls, there’s no doubt that the beauty and history of the Walled City of Intramuros is a timeless one.

Plus, other historical sites such as the Luneta Park and National Museum are just around the corner so if you’re looking for a place that’ll treat you with a grand history lesson, then better put Intramuros on top of your “Must-visit places in Manila”!


Did we miss something? Let us know by commenting below or send us an email at tours.ph@raksotravel.comIf you'd rather talk to one of our travel representatives call us at +63 (2) 651-9003.

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