The Philippines has a long history of colonization which is why there are so many foreign influences in its culture, architecture, religion, etc. The most notable colonizers, however, were the Spaniards and Americans. The period of American colonization of the Philippines lasted for 48 years while the Spanish colonization lasted for over 300 years.

If you are to trace our history, you will find a lot of things that sprouted from these colonial periods. One of them is the Baluarte de San Diego located in Intramuros, Manila. Originally known as Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance), it is considered as the oldest stone fortifications in Manila. It is a bastion with an ace-of-spades shape that was meant to protect Manila from enemies during the colonization period of the Spaniards. Its construction started in 1586 and was completed in 1587.

Baluarte de San Diego has three concentric structures. The first one has a diameter of 26 ft. with a wall thickness of 4.6 ft. The next circle's diameter is 69 ft. with a wall thickness of 3 ft. And the third circle has a diameter of 105 ft. and a wall thickness of 9.8 ft. It was constructed with adobe walls and has 11 chambers. It has also gone through a lot including cannon fires, earthquakes, and the Battle of Manila. In fact, it has been damaged by the British forces before, wrecked by an earthquake, and was bombed during World War II. But it underwent restoration during the 1980s.

Today, it has definitely turned into a peaceful stone fort. They open it daily for people to see. There are gardens along with the fort where people can stroll. It has also become popular as a wedding location.


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