Hello World! Welcome to the second part of my adventure in Intramuros. I am going to take you inside the walls of Fort Santiago where much history happened during Spanish regime.
Fort Santiago (Moog ng Santiago or Fuerte de Santiago) was built by Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and became the premiere defense citadel of Spanish rulers in the country. It measures 620 meters (2,030 feet) in perimeter. Its high walls are about 22 feet (6.7 meters) tall and 8 feet (2.4 meters) thick. These walls were the silent witnesses of tortures and prisoners’ deaths in the dungeons.
At present, Fort Santiago, Rizal Shrine, Plaza De Armas, Rajah Sulayman Theater, the prison dungeons, bastions and ruins are part of the historical park which also includes Plaza Moriones.
The first thing I noticed was the set of footprints. They represent the National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s last walk before his execution in Luneta.
I couldn’t help but shivered when I thought of Rizal’s final walk towards his death after fighting for our country through his writings and ideals. I wonder what was in his mind during that “significant” moment. Did he regret the path he choose or at near-death his heart was overwhelmed with hope to see his motherland free from conquistadors? He knew he wouldn’t see the day of liberation.
So, first stop was Rizal’s Museum and Shrine within the Plaza de Armas.
Inside the museum, clothes and hats of Dr. Rizal were displayed. In one room, a replica of him was seated in a chair. It was the same room where he stayed while imprisoned and wrote his last poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell). There was also a big portrait depicting his execution at Bagumbayan (Luneta). Reminder: Inside this room, camera flashes are not allowed.
There were many memorabilia inside Rizal Shrine. There are rooms where replicas of him were shown during his trial, his medical instruments, paintings, writings and works. You can also have pose for a souvenir photo with local heroes as background and wearing coat or hat.
If you are done, you could go outside the “balkonahe” for some fresh air. Hmmm, was Dr. Rizal allowed to come here?
Then we went to adjacent pathway which led us to the dungeons and cells.
The lower area where the buildings of Binondo area can be seen became a place to rest, to pose and to peek in the underground dungeons.
My tour in Fort Santiago won’t be complete if I wouldn’t walk through the tunnel which is known as “Baluartillo De San Francisco Javier” . It was added during the fort’s renovation in 1773 to protect the area along riverside and seashore.
It was time for a short rest and had some fun outside.
It was a tiring but educational, entertaining and fun adventure. Try to visit it and enjoy the historical places in this Walled City of Manila.