METRO MANILA | Plaza San Luis at Intramuros

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Massive Archways of Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila

I was invited a few months ago to attend a wedding at San Sebastian Church, one of the grandest Catholic churches in Manila, and the reception was held at Plaza San Luis’ Casa Blanca

Plaza San Luis is located at the cobblestoned street of General Luna in Intramuros across the massive San Agustin Church.

Flagstone Pathways at Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, ManilaNamed after an old town in Manila, the complex is composed of nine houses representing different eras of Filipino-Spanish Architecture. This mix represents the lifestyles of the Ilustrados or the privileged citizens during the late 19th and early 20th century in the Philippines.

The houses are meticulously crafted replicas of real quarters in Manila situated in a single block; Casa Manila, Casa Urdaneta, Casa Blanca, Los Hidalgos, and El Hogar Filipino. As of the moment, only five residences have been erected with the other four to be completed in the future. It’s very similar to Bataan’s Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, but on a smaller scale.

Inside the mini villas are restaurants, a café, souvenir shops, a An Old-World Water Well at Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manilamuseum, a hotel, and a venue for events.

Passing the arched portal of the plaza, we were transported back to the Spanish colonial times; rough whitewashed adobe walls line up the arcades, pathways are paved with flagstones, and intricate latticed capiz (mother of pearl) windows rounds up the upper walls of the courtyards. Deep wells, fountains and turrets  are also featured along the maze-like passageways. The place has that old-world feel and reminds me so much of Calle Crisologo in the old Spanish town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.


I have actually passed by this plaza quite a few times before and never did I imagine that its arched gate holds so much inside. The place sprawls inward like a quaint Italian town similar to those I have seen in the movies.

If you have some time to spare and would like to experience what it’s like to be a walking Ilustrado during those times when the Americans have not yet landed on the Philippines and the Spaniards still rule the land, have a trip to Plaza San Luis and revisit how it was in Manila during those days. And while you’re at it, why not enjoy a cup of coffee and grab a couple of souvenirs too.

 Fountains and Spanish Styled Lamps at Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila The Facade of Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila 
One of the Newly-Built House at Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila One of the Many Courtyards in Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila
The Atrium of Casa Manila Museum Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila The Grand Staircase Leading to Barbara's at Plaza San Luis in Intramuros, Manila

Plaza San Luis Complex

Gen. Luna corner Urdaneta Street
Intramuros, Manila

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  1. Is it allowed to take some pictures inside?

  2. Chase
    Yes, it's generally allowed; only the nearby museum don't allow it.

  3. Batang Biyahera
    It is indeed, a surprise in the middle of the metro :)

  4. Thanks for sharing this casa manila history. There are many historical places in Manila. Do you have other post?

  5. San Sebastian Church is not a cathedral.


    1. Have you tried these numbers? 5274084 / 5274088 or maybe you can contact them via their Facebook page?