This New Intramuros Museum Was Built on the Ruins of a Church

It opens to the public on May 2, and entrance is free.

( Intramuros, also known as the Walled City, is one of the most historic sites in the Metro. It was the seat of power during the Spanish Period and was heavily devastated during the infamous Battle of Manila. With this tragic history, it doesn't come as a surprise that every nook and cranny, every wall reduced to rubble, and every item found in the ruins of churches, government buildings, and houses have a story to tell. In an effort to share more about this past, the Intramuros Administration will open Museo de Intramuros at the reconstructed San Ignacio Church on May 2. It houses about 500 religious artifacts found in old churches near and around the Walled City.

The current exhibition includes a display of images of the various Religious Orders in the Philippines and statues of the Immaculate Conception.
PHOTO BY Department of Tourism

It couldn't be more apt that the ecclesiastical museum is located within a Jesuit church that has its own narrative of building and rebuilding. San Ignacio Church, which was completed in 1889, was the Jesuits' "Sueño Dorado" (Golden Dream). The stone structure was designed by architect Felix Roxas Sr. in a Neoclassical style, while the wooden interior was the brainchild of Isabelo Tampingco. But the dream vanished when the church burned for four days during the 1945 Battle of Manila.

The ruins of San Ignacio Church were abandoned for decades. 
PHOTO BY Rhonaramos
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It was once used as a basketball court by communities within Intramuros.
PHOTO BY Ville Miettinen

Now, the historical ruins have been transformed into the Museo de Intramuros. 
PHOTO BY Department of Tourism

After being left in ruins for decades, the site was reconstructed in phases starting in 2011. Sixteen experts in architecture and heritage preservation were consulted for the project, which culminated in a roundtable discussion on June 1, 2017. Finally, Museo de Intramuros was temporarily opened in February 2018 for the first-ever Manila Biennale. And on May 2, the museum is opening its doors to the public—for free.

Museo de Intramuros opens on May 2. It is located at San Ignacio Church, Arzobispo Street, Intramuros, Manila. For more information, follow Intramuros Administration on Facebook.

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