INTRAMUROS - Tours
INTRAMUROS TOURS ~ WALLED CITY of MANILA
HISTORY - says for hundreds of years, the walled city of Intramuros was Manila, the nerve center of the Spanish occupation in the Philippines, home to several thousand Spanish colonists, their families, and their Filipino servants.
Intramuros was erected on the ruins of a Malay settlement at the mouth of the Pasig River. Its strategic location attracted the attention of the conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who took over the area in 1571 and proclaimed it as the Philippine colony s new capital. For 400 years, Intramuros was the center of spanish political, religious and military power in the region.
The walled city suffered grievously through world war 2, only San Agustin church was left standing by wars end.in the 1980s, the government led a major restoration effort that reconstructed Intramuros to its present state.today, Intramuros is a prominent tourist spot, It’s the original fortified seat of the Spanish government during the Spanish colonial period. The defensive walls were constructed in the late 16th century to protect the city from foreign invasions and considered as one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, where visitors can experience Spanish era of Manila through the walled city churches, restaurants, and museums.
Begin the Tour at the Intramuros visitors center at the restored Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier in Fort Santiago. You can pick up brochures on the places you plan to see or find out about scheduled cultural events in the walled city. The tour will take about 3/4 hours and involves a fair amount of walking,
Fort Santiago was built by Spanish conquistadors in 1571, replacing the destroyed fortress belonging to the last Datu, king of pre hispanic manila. Over the years, Fort Santiago served as a fortress against marauding Chinese pirates, a prison for Spanish era political prisoners and a Japanese torture chamber in world war 2 .
American bombs deployed during the battle for Manila almost succeeded in destroying the fort altogether in a postwar government initiative helped restore Fort Santiago and clean its bad juju away. Today,Fort Santiago is a relaxing place to visit and an enlightening portal into the Philippines colonial past. It boasts a peaceful park, battlements overlooking the Pasig river,and a memorial museum to the Philippines national hero Jose Rizal. You may want to come back and spend more times in the afternoon just checking out the fort.
Next is the cathedral, the Manila cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the archdiocese of Manila. In Spanish colonial times, this was the seat of the Spanish archbishop of Manila, who had jurisdiction over the entire archipelago. This structure is actually the sixth church to occupy the site. The first one built in 1581 was razed to the ground two years after it was built. The present structure was completed in 1 958,this cathedrals crypts serve as a final resting place for former archbishops of Manila, just as the crypts of St.Peters in the Vatican do for the bodies of former popes.
A further five-minute walk down General Luna street in the same direction, turn right and walk down until you reach Puerta de sta. Lucia, which is one of several gates passing through the Intramuros walls, first built in 160. As you passerby, you will get a close up look at the thick stone walls and moats that skirt the Intramuros borders. These walls can actually be climbed for a commanding view of the streets within Intramuros and the golf course beyond the wall. During Manila's colonial heyday, no one could enter Intramuros but the Spanish, their servants, and mestizos, half Spanish Filipinos. Outside Manila lived Filipinos and Chinese merchants. The latter were forced to live in a ghetto that was conveniently located within the range of Intramuros cannons, in case the Chinese revolted against Spanish rule.
San Agustin church was first constructed in 1571 and destroyed by marauding pirates in 1574. It was built and destroyed, 2 more times before the present structure was completed in 1604, using a design so stable that earthquakes, the bane of the Philippines baroque churches, could not topple it. This famous church is the first european stone church designed along Spanish lines in manila. It has 14 side chapels, hand-carved hardwood pews dating back to the 17th century, an 18th century pipe organ, and a beautiful trompe ceiling - Beside the church is a small museum featuring spanish era vestments, furniture, and religious artwork. Along with three other ancient Philippine churches, San Agustin church was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993.
Each room in casa manila is decorated in period style, complete with antique furniture, fixtures, and artwork.visitors are led from the central courtyard up to a receiving area,where the master held office, and up again to the top floor where the masters family lived, all the way out to the kitchen, complete with authentic cooking utensils of the time, exiting a side door out back to the courtyard again.
Intramuros Tour Itinerary
We will pick you up at 8am. Pick-up from partner hotels is at 9am.
A rolling tour will take you to the historic Luneta Park, where the remains of Philippine’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal lies.
Then visit Intramuros Manila, known as the Walled City. Coverage - Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church and Museum, local handicrafts and souvenir shops. The last part of the tour can bring you to a local restaurant for a taste of the Philippines' local dishes - meals on the guest account.
Tour duration is 4 hours.
Available any day - Advance booking required.
Travel agency bookings are welcome.
Private transportation, 1/2 day
A guided tour to the country's important historical landmarks and must-see parts of the city– Intramuros, Fort Santiago
And drive through to the prominent parts of the city, if time permits and depending on the route - Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Ongpin St – Chinatown, Makati – the country’s primary business district, Mall of Asia and Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Duration: 4 hours
Pick-up time: 8am
Price per person
1 traveller - P6,300
2 travellers - P3,400
3 travellers - P2,600
4 travellers - P2,100
5 travellers - P1,800
6 travellers - P1,600
Group of 7 travellers and up - P1,200 - No child rate