16th Century Dungeons of Intramuros Opens for Night Visits
Manila, Philippines — Intramuros, which means “within the walls” is a famous destination for both foreign tourists and locals in the Philippines. It is widely known because of its historical heritage and astounding sights.
The Intramuros was once the seat of government and political power when the Philippines was a component realm of the Spanish Empire. It was also the center of religion, education, and economy. Later, during the 16th century, the Spanish government started to construct defensive walls against both natural and man-made disasters and invasion. The enormous walls stretch about 4.5 kilometers and thus enclose a 64-hectare area. The area beyond the Walled City was referred to as “extramuros” meaning “outside the city.
The area suffered from massive bombing during World War II, and Intramuros has experienced an architectural renaissance after a series of restoration projects that are breathing new life into an area that was neglected since the mid-20th century. Inside the Walled City, you can visit seven great churches. The San Agustin Church was the only structure that was left standing after all structures were destroyed after World War II. The golf course was once a moat. However, the Americans converted it into a golf course because they think it is unhygienic and that the stagnant waters may cause to breed mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue diseases.
The remarkable Fort Santiago built in the year 1983 is known to be the Spaniard’s primary defense line. It is where Jose Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines, was detained until his execution in 1896. It was the very same place where the US flag was raised to signify the start of American rule over the country in 1898.
16th Century dungeons of Intramuros
Recently, the famous 16th Century dungeons of Intramuros were opened for guests from 2:00pm til 10:00 o’clock in the evening. The cells which can be found in Baluarte de Santa Barbara were initially used to be vault storage for ammunition and gunpowder. It lasted until Spaniards became aware that the place was actually dump caused by its area being adjacent to the Pasig River.
The dungeons were then later on converted into prison cells where immense torture activities and massive deaths took place during World War II. After the restoration of the Intramuros, ghost stories about the dungeons being hunted by the spirits of the soldiers of the war surfaced. Stories like soldiers walking or guarding the dungeons during late at night. Only those with brave hearts and courageous spirits will venture the dungeons at night.
How to get to Intramuros
To get to Intramuros, you will be needing to take the LRT or the jeepney going in. Getting there by LRT means stopping at the Central Terminal Station, then walking five minutes to Manila City Hall. From there, a pedestrian underpass takes you across Padre de Burgos Street. Immediately upon exiting the underpass, you’ll see Victoria Street, which curves right through the walls. When inside Intramuros, you will find most of the sights within a 10-minute walk. If you want to ride around in Intramuros, you can either use pedicabs or the horse-drawn calesa.
The now-famous dungeons can be found inside Fort Santiago. The admission fee to Fort Santiago is P75 for adults and P50 for students, seniors, and PWDs. The access to the dungeons is already included in the admission fee.
Address: Sta. Clara Street corner G. Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila.
Operating Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., the dungeons are open daily from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, follow the Intramuros Administration on Facebook.