Manila: Baluarte de San Diego

Located in the southern tip of the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Baluarte de San Diego is part of the old Spanish Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia.

Baluarte de San Diego
For those who don't know the history of Intramuros, allow me to give you a little bit of history lesson. (Since I'm a history teacher and that's my job.) 

Outside the gate of Baluarte de San 

It all began when the Chinese pirates led by Limahong raided the then wooden Spanish fort of Intramuros in 1574. The need for stronger defense became an urgent priority for the Spanish. According to Governor General Santiago de Vera, a stone fort with a watch tower would best serve the purpose. He assigned a Jesuit friar named Antonio Sedeño to oversee the project because of his knowledge of military architecture.

The gardens and the fort
The stone fort was to be three tiers of circular walls, with the outer tier 28 feet high, 12 feet thick at the bottom, and 4 feet thick at the top. This fort is named Fort Nuestra Señora de guia. the fort was buit from 1586 to 1587, however the fort has one major flaw. Like the tower of Babylon the fort's tower  threatened to collapse as it got higher.

This place is also a good venue for weddings.
With the appointment of Gov. Gen. Gomez Perez Dasmariñas (wherein the town of Dasmariñas and its church was named.*) in 1590. Intramuros a major "upgrade". All the wooden segments of Intramuros were reconstructed in stone. In 1593, the upper portion of the tower was demolished leaving behind the lower segment which was integrated into the new stone bulwark. It would be called Baluarte de San Diego. Shaped like an ace of spades, the new baluarte was completed sometime between 1653 to 1663.

*check our my blog Visita Iglesia: Dasmariñas Church if you want to know the story of the church.

Posing in the garden
Baluarte de San Diego was breached by the British forces in 1762. When the Spanish recaptured the baluarte, it was restored and strengthened. However, the earthquake of 1863 damaged its structure, forcing the Spanish to abandon it. The baluarte received further damage during the Battle of Manila in 1945.

Got a chance to go to the middle of it!

Baluarte de San Diego was restored in 1992 and is managed by the Intramuros Administration. 

Getting there:

Baluarte de San Diego is located in the city of Manila. You could reach it by riding any of the following; jeepney, taxi, and even horse drawn carriages.
jeepney fare: P8-10
taxi fare: P60-100
tricycle fare: P50-80
horse drawn carriages: P100-200

Guess what? 

I married my wife in this historical landmark. Check out the pictures below. 

Overall Ratings


  1. why does it shaped circular like that??? for any good reason???

    1. Hi there! It's circular so that it would be harder for those outside to infiltrate it. It also serves as an earthquake buffer. =) hope that helps!

  2. hi! we will also be having our reception at san diego gardens, any chance that they have a sort of holding area for us to relax before we continue to party at the reception?

    1. Hi there tey! Sorry for the late response. Malawak yung place so you guys can roam around kahit sa labas ng venue. =)

  3. hi, i would like to know how to get there by mrt, or how to get there directly form airport???

    1. Hi there! From the airport, it's best if you ride a taxi going here. =)

  4. How did you get on the top of the circular walls? Curious kasi ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

  5. Hi. How did you get on the top of the circular walls. Curious kasi talaga ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

  6. How did you get on the top of the circular walls? Curious kasi ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

    1. Hi there Elle!

      Shhhh but we just snuck going to it. Hahahaha. Just kidding we got to ask the guard if we could have a photo at it since nagoocular kami para sa wedding namin.

  7. Hi, i am really interested in getting married at this venue also, do you mind giving some tips etc about how you went about organizing everything :)

    1. Make sure that you have finalized exact day of your marriage.

      Once you accomplish this, you have to go to the office of the Intramuros Administration (IA) located in Palacio del Gobernador which is near Manila Cathedral to reserve the place. The IA will ask you 50% downpayment upon reservation. Last time I checked reservation fee was 33K.

      Once reserved, you can discuss the arrangements with your caterer and officiating priest/pastor.

      Hope it helps.

  8. I really love Baluarte de san diego A perfect place for special events. Great events place! So rich with history. If you're planning to exchange vows here, make sure to check the weather channel first.

    1. I agree with you Vangie. During my wedding there, it was only 10% chance of rain but heck, it drizzled right after our vows. Thank goodness it was just a short one.


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