The historic core of present-day City of Manila. Established by the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on the site of the former kingdom of Rajah Soliman, 1571. Granted the following titles and privileges by Royal Decree of King Philip II: the title “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City,” 1574; its own Royal Audiencia, 1583; and its own Coat of Arms, 1596. Slavery abolished, 1591. Established as a diocese by Pope Gregory XIII, 6 February 1579; and raised to the status of an archdiocese by Pope Clement VIII, 1595. Walls and fortifications constructed to protect the institutions and inhabitants therein, 1590 to 1825.

Capital of the Spanish East Indies, 1571 to 1898. End-point of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade route, 1571 to 1815. Audiencia administered under the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies through the Viceroyalty of New Spain, 1571 to 1821; then directly under the central government of Madrid in Spain, 1821 to 1898. Briefly occupied by Great Britain during the Seven Years War, 1762 to 1764. City expanded to absorb the suburbs outside the walls, Binondo, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, Ermita, Malate, Sampaloc, Paco, and Santa Ana, late 19th Century.

Occupied by American troops led by General Wesley Merritt, 1898; Declared a chartered city under the colonial administration of the United States of America, 1901. First Philippine Assembly held at the Ayuntamiento, 16 October 1907. Occupied by the Japanese military and destroyed by the end of the Second World War, 1941-1945. Intramuros Administration created for the orderly development and restoration, 1979.