The historical Fort Santiago was built by the Spaniards in 1571 on the site of the settlement of Filipino Tribe Ruler Raja Soliman. It is one of the oldest forts in the Philippines situated in Manila. The original Fort was fenced with a structure of logs and earth during it’s early construction but sometime in 1574, a Chinese pirates lead by Limahong attacked and destroyed the Fort. Between 1589 and 1592 the Fort was re-constructed and reinforced with the use of carved stones and mud cement. In 1645, a great earthquake destroyed most of the edifice but the Spaniards again repaired and restored the Fort in 1658 to 1663. Fort Santiago was used as the British Headquarters during their rule in 1762 to 1764. When the Americans conquered the city in 1778, they renovated Fort Santiago where it was converted as the U.S. Army Philippine Division command center. When Japan occupied the Philippines in 1942 during World War 2, the Japanese Military used the Fort as their base where they imprisoned, tortured and executed hundreds of Filipino civilians and guerillas. The U.S. Liberation Forces came to Manila in 1945 and battled the Japanese, damaging the Fort severely. Later, it was used as a depot of the U.S. Transportation Corps. In 1946 the U.S. Military turned over Fort Santiago to the Philippine Government. Then the Philippine government formally declared the entire structure as a Shrine of Freedom in 1950. The commissioned National Park Development Committee restored the Fort in 1951. Finally, in 1992 the National Park Development Committee effected turn over of the Fort to the newly established Intramuros Administration.
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