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Intramuros, Manila

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GeranHulmaster View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Oct 2011 at 23:14
I have plans to visit Intramuros, Manila, the crown jewel of Spain in the Pacific for 333 years. It's a walled city that survived all the major wars that the Philippines went through. It is inch by inch, one of the best places in Asia when valued based on history.
It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.

-Jose Rizal, Philippine National Hero
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drgonzaga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2011 at 01:26
Originally posted by GeranHulmaster GeranHulmaster wrote:

I have plans to visit Intramuros, Manila, the crown jewel of Spain in the Pacific for 333 years. It's a walled city that survived all the major wars that the Philippines went through. It is inch by inch, one of the best places in Asia when valued based on history.
 
There is no "historical" Intramuros anymore! All of the original buildings save for San Agustin Church (1607) were utterly destroyed early in 1945, for what the Japanese did not burn the shelling by advancing Allied forces severely damaged. What exists today are all reconstructions and most relatively recent in terms of historical reality since consistent effort did not begin until after 1979. Much else stand as fragmented ruins.
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2011 at 10:55
Perhaps Puerto Rico mantains these Spanish forts in a better shape.
In my country, our own Spanish forts are also in ruin, not because of war but because lack of care.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2011 at 15:49
Quoth the Penguin:  "Perhaps Puerto Rico mantains these Spanish forts in a better shape."

Yes, but the real responsible party is the U.S. Park Service. El Morro and San Cristobal are both in the national park system. San Juan was a completely walled city until 1895, when the Spanish tore down the eastern facing wall so the city could expand outwards. The largest Spanish fortress were the works associated with Cartagena, Colombia, followed by Puerto Rico and Cuba. San Lorenzo, at the mouth of the Chagres River in Panama, is still standing, and worth a visit, though the site is isolated.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2011 at 16:10
GeranHulmaster, I've been to Manila, but Intramuros wasn't on my list. We did travel through Bataan and caught a Panga out to Corregidor where we did the light and sound show in the Malinta tunnel, which was MacArthur's 'bunker'. Asia has some pretty historic fortresses, but I'm not sure where the Philippines stands on the scale of interest. Japan and Vietnam have interesting forts that show the transition to the gunpowder age, with Vauban type architecture. China's walled cities are often massive, and in many places well maintained, but the stretch of the Great Wall you will see is obviously nearly virgin. No doubt the pounded earth cores are original, but the stonework certainly isn't. Still, no one goes to nitpick, and the photo opportunities are worth the bus ride and trek. Korea has some very interesting mountain fortresses that were out of date by the 17th Century, as well as some that lie within various city limits. Suwon's is worth a visit, and if you ever get to Seoul, Namsan mountain is ringed by a wall. China, Korea, and Vietnam's palaces are well worth a visit, and are well maintained, except for some parts of Vietnam's forbidden city, which was still recovering from 1968 as of my last visit. Their government was trying to get the United Nations to sign up to foot the bill, citing those awful Americans and what they did to a pristine historic site, failing to mention whose military it was the penetrated into these 'national treasures' and held out for nearly four months. (And no small amount of the fighting to take it back from the VC was conducted by the ARVN.)

I believe that the Philippines were more famous for their long range pirating expeditions, carried out by enormous sea going native vessels that could be away from their home islands for up to two years. If you have any information on those, that might pique some interest.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2011 at 00:14
Spanish 'forts" and the Philippines are interesting all on their own and more has survived beyond Manila than in the metropolis itself.
 
For an introduction that is far from exhaustive on the actual sites:
 
Rene Javellana, S.J. Fortress of Empire: Spanish Colonial Fortifications in the Philippines, 1565-1898. Makati City: Bookmark, 1997.
 
 
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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