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Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 2 (Self Guided), Manila

Manila contains a vast range of interesting landmarks, palaces and many interesting buildings with an important history and unique design. Take the following tour to see the most outstanding landmarks in Manila!
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Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 2 Map

Guide Name: Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 2
Guide Location: Philippines » Manila (See other walking tours in Manila)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Author: nicole
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Manila Central Post Office
  • Ayuntamiento Ruins
  • Fort Santiago
  • National Library
  • City Hall
  • Adamson University
  • Malacañang Palace
Manila Central Post Office

1) Manila Central Post Office

The Manila Central Post Office is the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation. It is located on the bank of the Pasig River in the historic fortified part of the Philippine capital city. The structure was built in 1926 but suffered severe damages during the Second World War. Architect Juan M. Arellano designed it in neoclassical style. This Greco-Roman style building is a classic example of Western architecture that existed between the two world wars. Thankfully, the edifice was restored to its original splendor after the war and has inspired local students of architecture and those around the world with its immaculate design ever since. Unfortunately, the interiors of the building do not meet the high expectations brought about by its magnificent exterior. Still, the building deserves a visit and must not be missed if you are in Manila. The Post Office is easily accessible from Liwasang Bonifacio Plaza, also known as Plaza Lawton.

Serving as the head office of the country’s postal operations, this facility handles the mail sorting and distribution operations. It also houses the philatelic section where enthusiasts can buy the latest as well as special edition stamps for their collections. Every year, Manila Central Post Office plays host for an exhibition displaying old stamps and equipment related to mail service.
Ayuntamiento Ruins

2) Ayuntamiento Ruins

Built on Cabildo Street, the Ayuntamiento was the seat of the city council of Manila during the colonial era. Also known as Casa Consistoriales, the building was finished in 1738. However, the earthquake of 1863 caused it severe damage and repair works on the building were completed only in 1879. In 1901, the building became the headquarters of the 8th U.S. Army Corps and went on to host the first Assembly of the Philippines in 1907.

The Marble Hall or Salón de Mármol, held the first sessions of the Assembly of the Philippines on the 6th of October 1907. The structure was also home to administrative offices of the Assembly and was adorned with lavish interiors. It was also the site that came up with Philippine Legislature in 1935 and became the Supreme Court during American occupation. Unfortunately, the Second World War and the battle between the Japanese and American forces on the Philippine land completely destroyed the building and rendered it useless. What was once a grand edifice in the Intramuros district of Manila is now called the Ayuntamiento Ruins. Yet, the building remains a site to visit for every tourist of Manila and is in close proximity of other landmarks in the Intramuros district. The city administration is determined to restore the building to its former glory and has put the matter on a high priority list.
Fort Santiago

3) Fort Santiago (must see)

The location of Fort Santiago was once the site of the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suleiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila. The fort is shielded by 22 foot high walls, with a thickness of 8 feet and an entrance measuring 40 feet high. It's located at the mouth of the Pasig River and it was once the premier defense fortress of the Spanish Government in the Philippines. During WWII, it was captured by the Japanese and it also sustained heavy damage from American and Filipino mortar shells during the Battle of Manila, in February 1945. It was later restored by the Intramuros Administration during the 1980s. Today, the fort serves as a museum which houses well-preserved legacies of the Spanish government, José Rizal (which is called the Plaza de Armas), Rizal Shrine, and the prison dungeons for criminals incarcerated there by Spanish officials.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Library

4) National Library

If you love researching and getting to know new things, there is no place like a library. Filled with books about history and insights on the culture, the National Library of the Philippines is a must visit in Manila. Located in Ermita in Rizal Park, the National Library is housed in a huge complex and boasts an enormous collection of rare books, documents and manuscripts.

Although, the National Library is an abundant source of history and literature, it is also witness to the history of the land. The library was initiated in the last decade of the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. The 24th of October 1891, saw the inauguration of the Museo-Biblioteca de Filipinas, a proud Filipino library that boasted an even prouder collection of about 100 Filipino books.

Sadly, the collection of books and the library were severely damaged during the Philippine- American War. After the war, the books were taken by the American Circulating Library Association of Manila for the sole purpose of entertaining the American sailors and settlers in Manila. This subsequent library was dedicated to the American soldiers who lost their lives fighting the locals.

The Library grew and flourished under the American Association. However, the collection soon got too cumbersome for them to handle. This period saw the shift in authority, where the Philippine government took over and thus started the trend of a public library in the country.
City Hall

5) City Hall

The City Hall of Manila is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. The City Hall is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. The City Hall got negative reviews in the early days, because of its lack of architectural design, absence of an entrance, and random placement of the clock tower. Today, many people praise the City Hall and its design for the same reasons the complex was once vilified. The building proper has a shape similar to a coffin, or on the other hand, it's like the shield of a knight, only it lacks symmetry and regularity. Various services offered by the government can be accessed at the city hall. The Clock Tower is Illuminated by lights at night. On April 15, there was a bomb threat at the city hall. This event led to heavier security there.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Adamson University

6) Adamson University

Starting from a single classroom school, the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry (ASIC) grew into a fully-fledged university and recently, in 2007, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee after which it was declared the site of historical importance. A humble beginning from founder Dr. George Adamson and tireless efforts put in by his family and administrators have taken the ASIC to the status of a university that offers courses not only in chemistry but also in architecture, arts, law and theology, to name but a few. The university was founded as a secular institution, but the ownership transfer in 1964 to Vincentian Fathers had it turned into a Catholic one. As a result, daily masses and the theology department were introduced to reinforce the path the University would take in the years to come. Today, Adamson University proudly stands as a Catholic institution in Manila offering quality education to one and all.

Every person associated with the Adamson University is aware of its patron, St.Vincent de Paul, and strives to achieve excellence while being compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. The university aims at achieving overall social development and provision of equal opportunities to everybody.

In addition to having state-of-the-art facilities for learning and sports, the university has some excellent pieces of architecture that have made it a tourist attraction as well.
Malacañang Palace

7) Malacañang Palace (must see)

Malacañang Palace, or as it's officially known, Malacañan Palace, is the residence of the President of the Philippines. The palace is located along the North bank of the Pasig River in Manila. It's called Palasyo ng Malakanyang in Filipino, and Malacañan Palace, when referred to as the official residence of the President of the Philippines. In popular media and everyday parlance, it is simply referred to as Malacañang, and this shorter name is also used when referring to its role as the office of the president. The state and historic rooms of the palace aren't often seen by the public. The palace is closed and heavily guarded during times of political unrest, although prior to the Marcos administration, access was far more restricted than in the modern era. This lack of access by the public was particularly notable during the Ramon Magsaysay administration, in the 1950s. Rallyists often congregate along Mendiola Street nearby, to air their protests against the government.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Manila, Philippines

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles

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