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7 Important Dates of Intramuros Edit

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Lorrianne Aryenz Valdecantos  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

With 448 years compressed inside Intramuros, as three colonizers passed, countless fires, destructive earthquakes, and wars, it can get a bit confusing. To create a timeline and help grasp the concept of how far Intramuros has come, here are seven significant years of Intramuros.

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Map of Old Intramuros (taken from a booklet printed for the Army and Navy YMCA, sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

1571

The City was founded by the Spaniards, the iconic walls of the city were put up as social status divider and war fortifications. The first Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and the Fort Santiago were also constructed around this time. 

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Plaza Mayor de Manila, 1847 (Author: José Honorato Lozano)

1586

Construction of Baluarte de San Diego, arguably the most famous and the oldest stone fortification of Intramuros begun. Today, hollowed circular walls can be seen above the Balurte but served a great purpose of being a foundry during many wars.

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Baluarte de San Diego (Photograph now part of a personal collection of John Tewell via Flickr) 

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Baluarte de San Diego (Photograph from Intramuros Administration) 

1603

The original gates of Intramuros were constructed around this time. The Puertas or gates have a special designation of who can only pass through it. The Puerta Real, for example, is the official gate used by the Governor-General during fiestas and community celebrations.

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Santa Lucia Gate (Photo owner unkown, sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

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Puerta del Santo Domingo (From the University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, sourced from John Tewell Flickr account)

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Puerta de Santa Isabel (Photo owner unkown, sourced from John Tewell Flickr account)

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Puerta Real (Sourced from John Tewell Flickr account)

1762

The British occupation in Manila happened for only 20 months between 1762 to 1764 but it contributed to some damages inside and outside the walls.

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(Photo from: War Department. Army Air Forces, US National Archives, sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

1863

This year brought the earthquake that became the last toll on some of the infrastructures in Intramuros.

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Man posing in a earthquake-torn church (Photo sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

1941

Ten hours after the Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Japanese army marched into Manila. With them, famine and destruction. It was considered to be one of the darkest eras of the Philippines.

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War-torn Manila in WWII (Photo sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

1945

This is the battle that led to the total destruction of Manila, the infamous 1945 Battle of Manila wiped Intramuros clean.

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1945 war (sourced from John Tewell's Flickr account)

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War-torn Intramuros Walls. Letran stood in rubbles at the back (sourced from John Tewell Flickr account)

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Commercio Building devastated by the 1945 war (sourced from John Tewell Flickr account)

Roam this beautiful walled city with us! 

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Book Intramuros Walking Tour with Don't Skip Manila here

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Conquer the walls with a Bmabike! Book here 


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