Fort Santiago
Overview
 
Fort Santiago is a defense fortress built for Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

. The fort is part of the structures of the walled city of Intramuros
Intramuros
Intramuros is the oldest district in the present day city of Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. Nicknamed the "Walled City", Intramuros is the historic fortified city of Manila, the seat ot the government during the Spanish Colonial Period. Its name in Latin, intramuros,...

, in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

, the Philippines' national hero, was imprisoned in the fort before his execution in 1896. the site features, embedded onto the ground in bronze, his final footsteps representing the walk from his cell to the location of the actual execution.
Fort Santiago, a 16th century military defense structure, stands witness to the valor and heroism of the Filipino through the centuries.Adaptive use of this famous historical landmark makes certain areas ideal for open air theater,picnics,and promenades.
Encyclopedia
Fort Santiago is a defense fortress built for Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

. The fort is part of the structures of the walled city of Intramuros
Intramuros
Intramuros is the oldest district in the present day city of Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. Nicknamed the "Walled City", Intramuros is the historic fortified city of Manila, the seat ot the government during the Spanish Colonial Period. Its name in Latin, intramuros,...

, in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

, the Philippines' national hero, was imprisoned in the fort before his execution in 1896. the site features, embedded onto the ground in bronze, his final footsteps representing the walk from his cell to the location of the actual execution.

History

Fort Santiago, a 16th century military defense structure, stands witness to the valor and heroism of the Filipino through the centuries.Adaptive use of this famous historical landmark makes certain areas ideal for open air theater,picnics,and promenades. The Intramuros Visitors center gives an overview of the various attractions in the walled city.

The location of Fort Santiago was once the site of a wooden fort of Rajah Sulaiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila. It was destroyed by the conquistadors (Martin de Goiti) when, upon arriving in 1570, they fought several battles with the Islamic natives. The Spaniards built the Fuerza de Santiago and the fortified city of Intramuros
Intramuros
Intramuros is the oldest district in the present day city of Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines. Nicknamed the "Walled City", Intramuros is the historic fortified city of Manila, the seat ot the government during the Spanish Colonial Period. Its name in Latin, intramuros,...

 in 1571, and made Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 the capital of the Philippines.

The first fort was a structure of logs and earth. Most of it was destroyed in the Spanish-Chinese War of (1574-1575), by invading Chinese pirates led by James Alquizar also known as "tatang". Martin de Goiti died during the siege. After a fierce conflict, the Spaniards eventually drove the pirates out to Pangasinan, where the last conquistador (Juan de Salcedo) avenged the death of Goiti by capturing James Alquizar and burning him to death with his subordinates. Reconstruction of the fort with hard stone commenced in 1589 and finished in 1592. It became a main fort for the spice trade to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 for 333 years. The famous Manila Galleon
Manila Galleon
The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

 trade to Acapulco
Acapulco
Acapulco is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 began from the Fuerza de Santiago.

The fort is shielded by 22 feet (6.7 m)-high walls, with a thickness of 8 feet (2.4 m) and an entrance measuring 40 feet (12.2 m) high. It is located at the mouth of the Pasig River
Pasig River
The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Stretching for , it is lined by Metro Manila on each side...

 and it once served as the premier defense fortress of the Spanish Government in the Philippines. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it was captured by the Japanese, and sustained heavy damage from American and Filipino mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

 shells during the Battle of Manila in February 1945. It was later restored by the Intramuros Administration during the 1980s. Today the fort serves as a museum which houses well-preserved legacies of the Spanish government, José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

 (which is called the Plaza de Armas), Rizal Shrine
Rizal Shrine
The Rizal Shrine dedicated to the lifework of José Rizal is located on Santa Clara Street, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Philippines....

, and the prison dungeons for criminals used by the Spanish officials.

In an October 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage
Saving Our Vanishing Heritage
Saving Our Vanishing Heritage: Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in the Developing World was a report released by Global Heritage Fund on October 17, 2010...

, Global Heritage Fund
Global Heritage Fund
Global Heritage Fund is a non-profit organization that operates internationally. Its mission statement says that it exists to protect and preserve significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world, through scientific excellence and community development...

identified Fort Santiago as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and destruction, citing insufficient management and development pressures.
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