Fort Santiago, bastion of history, heritage and tourism in the City of Manila, will offer more fun and excitement to visitors when Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo opens the new Paseo Soledad and Plaza Moriones on Monday, April 17. This is in line with the” Intramuros Revival Project” initiated by Secretary Teo when she took over the Department of Tourism (DOT) last year.
Newly- appointed Intramuros Administration (IA) head Atty. Guiller B. Asido revealed that more areas will be seen by the public once the rehabilitation work is fully completed. The improvement of Fort Santiago is funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), also a member of the DOT Family.
Paseo Soledad is a portion of the linear park built by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) along the banks of the river about a decade ago. Landscaping and lighting make it a more appealing spot, accessible from Fort Santiago through the river gate called Postigo Nstra. Sra. de Soledad. Shown in the 1714 map by Juan de Ciscara, this small gate was where the Fort Santiago residents passed through to cross the river on rowboats to the commercial districts of Binondo and Quiapo.
Plaza Moriones now provides an unobstructed view of the iconic gate of Fort Santiago from Sta. Clara Street, with flowering trees at the sides and a fountain at the center. Formerly called Plaza de la Fuerza, an 1898 map by an anonymous cartographer names it Plaza del Gral. Moriones, after Spanish Gov. Gen. Domingo Moriones who ruled the Philippine Islands in 1877-1880.
Other areas inside Fort Santiago like the Rajah Soliman Theater, reception venues and the dungeons are set to open within the year as well.