Intramuros' 16th-Century Dungeons Are Now Open for Night Visits

Be warned: You might just see some ghostly patrols in progress.

( It's not a secret that Intramuros in Manila is one of the most haunted places in the Metro. It was, after all, witness to torture and death during World War II. Rumor has it that soldiers' ghosts—not the actual guards dressed in Guardia Civil attire—would patrol the Walled City at night. But if you're bold enough to explore these haunted grounds way past sunset, the Intramuros Administration has opened the dark dungeons of Fort Santiago to the public—at night. They started receiving guests daily from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on February 1.

These dungeons in Baluarte de Santa Barbara used to be storage vaults for ammunition and gunpowder.  Intramuros Administration / Facebook

But with the Philippines' humid conditions and Intramuros' proximity to Pasig River, its walls were always damp. Not great if you're storing gunpowder.  Intramuros Administration / Facebook

On January 13, Fort Santiago extended its opening hours to 11 p.m. from the original 7 p.m. This allowed visitors to hang out and take evening photos of the historic destination's moat and arched gate that lead to well-kept gardens and fountains.

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Fort Santiago, which was built in 1593, was one of the Spaniards' main defense lines. The dungeons served as storage for ammunition, until the Spanish soldiers realized that the place was too damp. When they built a new vault on higher ground in 1715, the underground site was converted into prison cells.

The Spaniards' gunpowder magazine was later relocated. The dungeons, on the other hand, were converted into prison cells. Intramuros Adminisrtration / Facebook

Now, it's open to visitors who are bold enough to check it out after dark. Intramuros Administration / Facebook

Entrance to the dungeon is already included in your admission fee to Fort Santiago, which is at P75 for adults and P50 for students, seniors, and PWDs.

Fort Santiago is at Sta. Clara Street corner G. Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., while the dungeons are open daily from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, follow Intramuros Administration on Facebook.


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