Revisiting the Past: Exploring Fort Santiago’s Dungeons
Ready to see where the terrors of the past happened?
by Ina Louise Manto | February 05, 2020
The walled city of Intramuros is a witness to many important dates in Philippine history. A trip to the old city would make you feel like you rode a time machine to 1662 with its stone walls and Spanish architecture.
If you’re planning for your next weekend trip, deviate from the usual beach and food trips and try exploring Fort Santiago’s dungeons. It has recently opened to the public and can be explored from 2 PM to 10 PM every day. The entrance fee is Php 50 for students, seniors, and PWDs while Php 75 is charged for adults; a very affordable fee for a fun and educational trip.
Constructed in 1593, Fort Santiago is the fortress that guards the walled city of Intramuros. The first fort was made of earth and logs but after bring destroyed from a Chinese pirate attack in 1574, the fortress we see now is made of adobe or volcanic tuff.
Fort Santiago is one of the many historic sites that can be found in the old city of Intramuros. It is one of the symbols of the Spaniards’ power during their 400-year occupation in the Philippines, and it was also the headquarters of foreign powers throughout the centuries, including the British and Japanese.
The stone-walled dungeons of Fort Santiago were once witnesses of the most gruesome events in Philippine history. This includes the imprisonment of Jose Rizal before his execution in 1886, and the massacres brought upon by the Japanese in the 1940s.
Places to visit near Fort Santiago
Since the dungeons open at 2 PM, you might want to explore these other places in Intramuros:
- San Agustin Church and Museum
- Baluarte de Santiago
- Casa Manila
- Museo Filipino
- National Museum
How to get there
You can either take the jeepney or LRT 1 to visit Fort Santiago or Intramuros. When taking the jeepney, drop off at the Manila City Hall and walk through the underpass. On the other hand, when taking the LRT 1, drop off at the Central Terminal Station and take a 5-minute walk towards Manila City Hall. Pass through the same underpass that would take you across Padre Burgos Street.
Will you visit the dungeons in the afternoon or late at night?