Fort Santiago in Manila reminds one of Manila history. The fort represented the strength of the Spanish colonial rule that ruled for almost three centuries. The British occupied the fort for a brief period (1762- 1764) after which the U.S held on to it till the Japanese forces that occupied it during the World War II.
The Fort Santiago in Manila was built on the site of palace of the Rajah Suliman that was destroyed by the Spanish invaders. This is a magnificent fort with huge canons overlooking the sea to destroy the pirates and the Muslim invaders.
Initially the Manila Fort Santiago was built of log structures and earth but was destroyed after the war with Chinese pirates (1574-75). In 1592 the fort was constructed by hard stone and was used as a center for trade especially spices to Europe.
The Fort Santiago is surrounded by 22 meters high bastion that are 8 m thick. The fort is located at the mouth of the River Pasig. Again the fort was conquered but this time by the Japanese forces during World War II and was damaged by the American bombs during the battle of Manila (1945).
In the 1980's the Intramuros Administration restored the Santiago Fort and today it serves as a museum that showcases the legacies of the Spanish rule. The other attractions in the Fort are the Jose Rizal (Plaza da Armas), Rizal Shrine and the prison dungeons. The Rizal shrine has the items used by the Jose Rizal that also includes the farewell poem that he wrote on the eve of his execution. Over the years many Filipinos were imprisoned and were left to drown in the dungeons that were the high tide level.