was constructed of logs and earth but after the destruction of this structure the fort was rebuilt in more robust fashion in hard stone. Fort Santiago features walls 22 m high and 8 m thick. The fort functioned as a trading centre, particularly with regard to the spice trade with Fort Santiago Europe.
Today the fort has been converted into a museum that depicts the legacy of Spanish rule. Of particular interest is the Rizal Shrine dedicated to the memory of the
’ national hero Jose Rizal. Rizal was a multi-talented intellectual, artist, academic, scientist and surgeon but he is well known to also have been an ardent nationalist, expressing the sufferings of the Filipinos under Spanish rule in his written works. He was imprisoned by the Spanish at Philippines and executed by firing squad at the age of 35. Many other Filipinos were incarcerated in the dungeons of the fort, many of them drowning with the high tide since the dungeons were located below the high water mark. Fort Santiago
The visitor to
will encounter a large courtyard with a beautiful garden. The centre of the courtyard features palm trees and a spring of water, and with the surrounding ruins, old cannons and guns in the background it seems to transport the visitor to an older, less complicated time. Also on display are the various war machines that were used in World War II. Fort Santiago
Upon crossing the moat the visitor encounters an exquisite garden, reputed to be one of the prettiest in
Manila, which affords a panoramic view over the . The Rizal Shrine is located here. In a corner you will also see a memorial dedicated to the remains of 600 persons who were buried in a mass grave by the Japanese. Pasig River