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Intramuros: Heritage tourism at its finest

The Walled City has 17 museums and galleries, but virtual tours will have to do during the pandemic.



Occupying a little over half a square kilometer of land within the City of Manila, the Spanish-era Walled City of Intramuros was declared by the 27th World Travel Awards in 2020 as Asia’s and then the World’s Leading Tourist Destination.

Intramuros beat 15 other nominees in finally getting a well-deserved place in the world tourism map on the very same year that saw the Philippines awarded as the World’s Leading Dive Destination for the second time.

Boasting of centuries-old attractions including the Ayutamiento building, Intramuros, which translates from Latin to “inside the walls, has at present 17 museums and galleries to enthrall those who want to soak in the country’s Hispanic heritage.

With the coronavirus pandemic still an issue though, virtual tours had been unveiled by the Intramuros Administration through photo essays and video walkthroughs under its #travelfromhome initiative. A YouTube-posted segment, a private production, even featured the many places in Intramuros said to be haunted by ghosts.

In this issue of Snaps, Daily Tribune takes a walk inside Intramuros for what awaits local and foreign tourists once the Covid-19 virus is beaten with the roll-out of vaccines around the world.

There’s, of course, Fort Santiago, the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church, among others, to teleport visitors to a bygone era of cobbled streets and baroque architecture.

Inside Fort Santiago is the Rizal Shrine Museum while scattered all around within the walls that defended Manila from numerous foreign invasions, including from the British and the Dutch, are other galleries including the Archdiocesan Museum of Manila and the new addition Museo de Intramuros.

Intramuros, once hailed as the “Rome of the East,” is awaiting rediscovery by young travelers and tourists.