Fort Santiago

On day two of our Intramuros tour we checked out Fort Santiago, originally a Spanish Fort built in the 1590’s.

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I say originally because the fort has changed hands a few times. At first, most of the structures were made of wood, many of which were destroyed by Chinese pirates (Chinese pirates!!!).

After being reconstructed with stone the fort was occupied by the British in the 1700’s and by the Americans in the 1800’s.

Yes, that is a moat.

Finally the Japanese occupied it during World War II.

IMG_1048 Inside you can still see ruins from early colonial days.

But one of the most interesting things to see was the dungeons. These dungeons held the Philippine hero Jose Rizal right before his execution in 1896. Then, during the Japanese occupation they were used to keep weapons and prisoners of war. About 600 American prisoners died here.

The beautiful grounds, which, according to my Wikipedia research, were used as a golf course during American occupation, also held a small playground. It was a pleasant surprise after a lot of walking around with restless kids.

And that’s a rooster that was hanging out by the playground. It seemed like roosters were as common in Manila as dogs and cats.

IMG_1010 It was another great day of exploring a place rich with culture and history.

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