Photo of the then newly restored Puerta Real de Bagumbayan, 1985
This 1985 image from the Archives of the Intramuros Administration shows the then newly-restored Puerta Real de Bagumbayan.
Puerta Real, meaning “royal gate,” was used by the Spanish Governor-General solely for state occasions. It was originally located at the end of Calle Real del Palacio (now General Luna Street) facing the village of Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park). Built in 1636, the gate was destroyed during the British Invasion of Manila in 1762.
As part of the new defense plan of the Spaniards, the gate was walled in and Puerta Real was rebuilt west of the old location behind the Revellin Real de Bagumbayan. In 1902, American engineers opened the wall at the old site of Puerta Real (now General Luna Gap). Puerta Real was heavily bombarded during the Battle of Manila in 1945 resulting in massive damage. It was restored in 1969 and in 1989.