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The oldest neighbourhood in Manila is Intramuros – Latin for ‘inside the walls’. In the 16th century, Manila became the capital of the Philippines and the administrative centre of Spanish colonial rule. Wars and revolutions have left their mark; many Baroque churches and palaces have been destroyed and the wall is partially reduced to a ruin. However, the area still exudes a colonial atmosphere.
Intramuros is a planned neighbourhood with a straight street grid, large squares and a monumental governor’s palace. The metres thick city walls and the fort with dozens of canons were built to control the rebellious population. Throughout Manila’s turbulent history, the neighbourhood has been reduced to rubble on various occasions, especially during the Second World War. Yet it still remains a lovely place to soak up the city’s colonial history. We’ve selected 3 highlights of Manila’s walled city.