Palacio del Gobernador Manila (History)
The location of the residence of the governors-general changed several times. The main residence that served the longest, was the Palacio del Gobernador.
The first governors resided in Fort Santiago.
In 1599, a new palace for the governor was built near the fort. The palace had wide windows, two floors, two patios, and stout pillars.
The palace was destroyed in the 1645 earthquake.
The area is now part of Plaza Moriones.
In 1651, the home of Manuel Estacio de Venegas, a member of the Audiencia, was seized by the government after he was charged with abuse of power and corruption. The Venegas Mansion was located near the Cathedral, facing the Plaza Mayor. This mansion became the new Palace of the Governor. The Governor shared the lot with the Royal Audiencia and the Treasury.
In 1719, Governor Bustamante was killed by an angry mob in the palace. The Palace was expanded and renovated in the Baroque style during the 18th Century (1700s).
In 1823, the palace was seized by supporters of Captain Andres Novales during the military uprising in Manila. The Palace was renovated in the 19th century following the neo-classical style. The Palace was connected by bridges to two adjacent lots.
Also housed in the Palace were the Alabarderos or Halberdiers, the bodyguard of the governor since 1590.
The Palace was destroyed during the 1863 earthquake. Plans to rebuild the palace were never realized. Most of the ruins were cleared and turned into a garden by the Americans.
During the Battle of Manila in 1945, the Japanese massacred civilians in the air raid shelters located in the Palacio gardens.
The block remained vacant until the 1970s.
In 1974 a new high-rise condominium was built on the Palacio lot to house government offices. The 12-story building was to rise higher than the Cathedral, looming over the Walled City. Concerned citizens led by Dr. Jaime C. Laya and Architect Felix Imperial called on President Marcos to stop the construction. The design of the building was altered and its height lowered to 8 floors.
This is the Palacio del Gobernador Condominium that we see today.
New regulations and rules for the development of Intramuros were recommended after the incident. A new agency was needed to oversee the development of the walled city. This led to Presidential Decree 1616 in 1979. Which gave birth to the Intramuros Administration.
The Palacio del Gobernador Condominium today houses the following offices;
- Commission on Elections
- Bureau of the Treasury and
- Intramuros Administration
The offices of the Intramuros Administration are located on the fifth floor of the building.
Source: fb/ OfficialIntramurosAdministration
You may want to read: