A foreign tourist’s trip to the nation’s capital almost always begins with Intramuros, a special historical district of Manila, which was the seat of government, center of religion, education and the economy during the Spanish period. Destroyed in most part in 1945 during the Liberation of Manila, its postwar restoration tried to recreate a throwback look and ambiance of the colonial-era way of life.
With a land area of less than a square kilometer, the so-called Walled City is punctuated with buildings inspired by the typical Iberian stone house architecture, massive fortress walls, cobblestone streets, and landmarks such as Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral, which have been mainstays in tourism promotion calendars since time immemorial.
Memorare Manila 1945 serves as a marker for the civilian victims of the Battle of Manila.
But beyond the iconic images, it is a treasure throve of pocket parks, monuments, intriguing historic nooks, and commemorative plaques chronicling lesser-known events.
Despite its proximity to most parts of the metropolis, this “city within a city” seems to be a frontier that a huge number of urbanites haven’t set foot on this unique district.
If there is a compelling reason to visit Intramuros very soon, it was recognized by the prestigious 27th World Travel Awards as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction last October. This is proof that its eclectic character never fails to charm the continent’s travelers from all walks of life.