Intramuros History

intramuros map 1762
Intramuros Map 1762 | @berto

Intramuros History

Intramuros was initially called Ciudad Murada or Walled City and it was the capital of the Spaniards in the Philippines.

Beginning in 1580, it took almost 300 years to complete its walls, forts and bastions.

The Walled City served as the primary defense against invasions and attacks from land and sea — the Chinese pirate Limahong, the Dutch, city rebels and the British.

Over the years, this fortress was further equipped with moats, ramparts, bastions, gates and sentry towers to improve protection against enemies.

At present, Intramuros is a priceless heritage and a testament to old Spanish town planning as it retained its original grids as seen in the 1762 map.

To strengthen the conquest and to deter the return of the Chinese invaders, the Spaniards encircled the entire city of Manila with stone walls. Because of this, Manila is also known as “Intramuros,” which means “within the walls.”

Remember: While it was the Spaniards who designed the walls, it was the Filipinos, or the people called “Indios,” who constructed it.

The walls of Intramuros are a product of more than 200 years of hard labor of Filipinos.

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