July 18, 2009

2.4 meters

Fort Santiago in Intramuros was established by the Spanish conquistadores in 1571 but the original fort was made out of wood. The stone walls were erected only between 1589–1592. The walls are 2.4 meters (8 feet) thick and 6.7 meters (22 feet) high. The main entrance, which stands behind the moat I posted last month, is 12 meters (40 feet) high. The large coat of arms just above the arch is the Pillars of Hercules version of the abbreviated coat of arms of the Spanish monarchy at the time. (Comparing it to the illustrations in the Wikipedia entry, I think the sculptor made some errors though.) Philip II was king of Spain at the time of the conquest, which is why the islands were called Las Islas Filipinas.

main entrance of Fort Santiago in Intramuros

28 comments:

Lodewijk said...

I don't think that the sculptor made an error in the code of arms. There will have been less kingdoms joined in it late in the 16th century under the king of Spain.

Phillip II was also the king that the small country of Holland had an 80 year lasting war with (of course not all under his reign). Holland came into existence because of that war.

Leif Hagen said...

Wow - that's solid and a piece of interesting Filipino history! Probably on a "must see" list of Manila?

James said...

That is a very impressive and historic building. I looks familar for some reason.

Lois said...

It's very impressive Hilda! I always enjoy the historical information you provide with your pictures. Thanks!

Dina said...

2.4 meters thick. Wow, they really knew how to build then!
Are those people being trampled by the horse??

Your EG Tour Guide said...

WOW! That's magnificent!

Vogon Poet said...

Impressive coat of arms and quite well preserved. Our older walls have the same age.

m_m said...

Looks interesting! Great!

asok said...

The chosen finest architecture.I have a dream to be there,It attracts me like that.

peter

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Meri said...

Duh -- I hadn't made the connection between the islands' name and King Philip.

Paty said...

hi Hilda, very nice, we have similar constructions in South America because of jesuitas and spanish and portuguese colonization.

u.c. said...

Esto es tan impresionante! Siempre me ha encantado este eclecticismo barroco espanol y me ha impresionado como se difundio tanto en America del Sur como en Filipinas. Saludos de Cluj!

bfarr said...

It looks like it can stand another four hundred years.

Reena said...

wow. you're not just a photographer, you're also a historian! hehe...

btw, congrats on your nomination. :) you deserve it.

Jacob said...

Eight-foot thick walls? That's what we needed when we lived in a condo!

Fascinating architectural piece...and I had no idea that's how the Philippines came to be named...

Thank you again for adding to my knowledge of our world, and especially of your piece of that world!

Louise said...

Such beautiful architecture. The walls are so thick, I am sure it held heat and cool much better than anything today.

Carraol said...

Great architecture, the arch and entrance are magnificent and your text makes a splendid post.

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Wow! What an heavy entrance gate! Better safe than sorry.

Beautiful elaborate details.

Buenos Aires Photo

Ming the Merciless said...

Thanks for visiting Bangor DP, Hilda.

That is an impressive looking gate. And the thickness of the wall is mind boggling.

Abe Lincoln said...

I guess the thick walls were for protection from canon shells. It would be interesting to go back in time to when they were built and listen to what the people building them were talking about. I can't imagine carving that coat of arms from stone in those days with the tools then available. But then I have problems with trying to imagine how the Egyptians lifted 70 ton blocks of stone and set them in place. There was an old man in Florida who built a castle out of coral and the gate was monumental. And he built it by himself working at night so nobody would see him. How he got that monumental piece of coral up and in place so that it swings open with a finger touch is remarkable to me. Unless the Egyptians and this old man in Florida knew about a process or prayer that put gravity in their favor.

Thanks for your visits. And take a look at my efforts to raise 10,000 visitors with my new blog, Pick a Peck of Pixels.

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Corker2 said...

Thanks again, Hilda, for your History visit. A very impressive looking structure.

Hilda said...

Lodewijk:
The difference is only in the little thing in the center and the bottom, not the main elements. They look like they got interchanged.

Leif:
Fort Santiago is definitely a must-see. Actually, the entire Intramuros is.

Dina:
Yup. Grim, isn't it?

Abe:
Yes, the fort's walls are that thick to protect against cannon fire. I'll post a photo of some cannons that have survived one of these days.

Dina said...

OK. I always worry when they send our mounted police into a crowd. In the riots last week in Jerusalem the protesting ultra-Orthodox poured oil on the road. A police horse slipped and fell and his rider hit the ground.

marley said...

Wonderful carved detail.

Louis la Vache said...

WOW! Those are some thick walls!

Very interesting post!

JM said...

WOW! This is absolutely gorgeous, Hilda!

ellievellie said...

Looks pretty well preserved - I like the Spanish pumpkin pants on the sculpture on the bottom left :)

the donG said...

great great shot hilda. definitely the best icon to represent intramuros and fort santiago.