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Overlooking Manila Bay, strategically located on the banks of the Pasig River, Fort Santiago was primarily built as a protection against the invaders from the sea.
The Fort has also been used as a prison, where many Filipinos were imprisoned and left to drown as the prison was below the high tide level. Visitors can visit the Rizal Museum, which was formerly the cell of the Philippines national hero, Jose Rizal, before he was executed.
This is where he composed his final poem, ‘My Final Farewell’. The Fort stands testimony to the sufferings of the local people as the fort was constructed and occupied by the Spanish for thirty years before two years of British occupation and finally it was handed over to the USA.
The Fort was the main location of the spice trade to the United States and Europe for more than 300 years. Currently it is a museum which gives witness to foreign rule of the Philippines.