03 Juli 2011

Intramuros – The ancient and intriguing walled district of Manila

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Intramuros is Manila’s oldest district that is extremely rich in history and heritage. Definitely a must visit when holidaying in Manila, this district’s name when translated means within the walls. The unique name of this precinct is derived from the fact that Intramuros is completely enclosed by a 3 mile stretch of fortifications and stone walls except for a small area near the Pasig River. Various historical attractions, museums, churches and other places of interest lie within the ancient walls of Intramuros. Much of the area can be explored by foot.

One of Manila’s top tourist attractions, Fort Santiago, lies nestled in Intramuros. Dating back to the 1800’s, the Fort was the military base of the previous colonial Spanish government. Part of the Fort was damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945, but much of it still remains and was later restored for tourism purposes. The Baluarte de San Diego is another ancient bastion worth visiting. It reigns as Manila’s first fort which is known as the Nuestra Senora de Guia fort. Several historical gates such as the Puerta de Isabel II and the Postigo del Palacio are wondrous sights to behold. Old buildings that include the Intendencia building, which housed historic Spanish government offices and the Ayuntamiento building, which contains some grand interiors from the colonial past, are interesting attractions to stop by in Intramuros.

Elaborate cathedrals complete the charm of this intriguing walled precinct. The Manila Cathedral which is one of the most important churches in the city is situated here. With its Neo Romanesque design, the Cathedral is ideal for a moment of quiet reflection and prayer. The San Augustin Church is another famous place in the area. Reputed to be the oldest stone church in Philippines, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Next to the Church is the San Augustin Museum where several cultural artifacts are on display. Other interesting museums such as the Casa Manila and the Light and Sound Museum are also located in Intramuros. Additionally, many monuments and statues of historic origin fill the interior of Intramuros. One of the most notable is the sculpture of King Carlos IV of Spain that stands majestically at the centre of the Plaza de Roma in this ancient walled district.

Staying at serviced apartments Manila such as the ones at Somerset Millennium Makati is sure to make your stay in the city a memorable one. With its wide range of contemporary facilities, this residence features elegant and stylish Makati accommodation ideal for the discerning business or leisure travellers seeking comfort and class in the heart of the city.