When the Spanish came to Manila, they built the walls of Manila and the authorities themselves were responsible for defining the importance of the interior of the walls. Only the Spanish and mestizos, or people with Spanish blood running in their veins, are allowed to live inside the walls. These people belonged to the upper or ruling classes of society.
The walled city of Intramuros is the oldest district in Manila as it was built in 1571. It served as the center for the rule of the Spanish colony and was then once called and believed to be Manila itself. The Spanish cultural influence is evident in every corner of this walled city. The architecture is screaming its Spanish influence as the roads and buildings are of the finest style and design.
The whole Intramuros is so rich in history that it has been said that each and every stone and grain of sail has its own story to tell. This is almost true as every building, church and office inside the walls each has its own version of its own history and that of Manila. The walls of Intramuros have been destroyed by man and nature many times. It has been destroyed during World War II between the Americans and the Japanese. Back then only the building of the San Agustin church and monastery was left standing. Fire and natural forces like earthquakes have also brought Intramuros walls down it has also continued to be restored and brought back to life.
As every corner inside the walled city of Intramuros is full of history and beauty, people would need a whole day to enjoy every building and church in the vicinity.
One of the more popular and most frequently visited places in Intramuros is Fort Santiago. From the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, political prisoners, including the national hero Jose Rizal, have been detained in Fort Santiago. The place is now a park that can be toured while riding a Kalesa (a horse-drawn carriage). It has been turned to an area full of flowering trees and homing pigeons. You can also explore Intramuros on you feet.
The next site is the famous Manila Cathedral. The Manila Cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Manila today as it used to be the seat for the Archbishop during the Spanish occupation.
After a visit to the famous churches like the Manila Cathedral and the church of San Agustin, you may then walk to the Casa Manila Museum.
Also inside the Intramuros walls are colonial homes that have been restored for people to see. These casas showcase the style and grandeur of the old Spanish architecture. The shrines in Intramuros like the Rizal Shrine and Mabini Shrine also introduce the heroes and important people in Philippine History.