Baluarte de San Diego - Manila

Located at Sta. Lucia St. in the southern tip of the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Baluarte de San Diego is part of the old Spanish Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia.

Baluarte de San Diego

Baluarte de San Diego details

For those who don't know the history of Intramuros, allow me to give you a little bit of a history lesson. (Since I'm a history teacher and that's my job.) 

Baluarte de San Diego - Intramuros, Manila

Outside the gate of Baluarte de San 

It all began when the Chinese pirates led by Limahong raided the then wooden Spanish fort of Intramuros in 1574. The need for stronger defense became an urgent priority for the Spanish. According to Governor-General Santiago de Vera, a stone fort with a watchtower would best serve the purpose. He assigned a Jesuit friar named Antonio Sedeño to oversee the project because of his knowledge of military architecture.

The gardens and Baluarte de San Diego

The stone fort was to be three tiers of circular walls, with the outer tier 28 feet high, 12 feet thick at the bottom, and 4 feet thick at the top. This fort is named Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia. the fort was built from 1586 to 1587, however, the fort has one major flaw. Like the tower of Babylon, the fort's tower threatened to collapse as it got higher.

This place is also a good venue for weddings.

With the appointment of Gov. Gen. Gomez Perez Dasmariñas (wherein the town of Dasmariñas and its church was named.*) in 1590. Intramuros is a major "upgrade". All the wooden segments of Intramuros were reconstructed in stone. In 1593, the upper portion of the tower was demolished leaving behind the lower segment which was integrated into the new stone bulwark. It would be called Baluarte de San Diego. Shaped like an ace of spades, the new baluarte was completed sometime between 1653 to 1663.

*check out my blog Visita Iglesia: Dasmariñas Church if you want to know the story of the church.

Team Nicerio visits Baluarte de San Diego

Baluarte de San Diego was breached by the British forces in 1762. When the Spanish recaptured the baluarte, it was restored and strengthened. However, the earthquake of 1863 damaged its structure, forcing the Spanish to abandon it. The baluarte received further damage during the Battle of Manila in 1945. 

Team Nicerio visits Baluarte de San Diego

Got a chance to go to the middle of it!

Baluarte de San Diego was restored in 1992 and is currently managed by the Intramuros Administration. 

Baluarte de San Diego Admission Fee

You need to pay 75 pesos per person to enter the vicinity of Baluarte de San Diego.

Baluarte de San Diego Operating Hours

Baluarte de San Diego is open from 8AM - 5PM every day

Why visit Baluarte de San Diego?

Baluarte de San Diego is one of the must-visit tourist destinations inside the walled city of Intramuros. Although there is nothing much to do here, the place is an amazing backdrop to your prenuptial photoshoots. It's also a perfect place to tie the knot... speaking of which... (please scroll down to the bottom part of this article)

Getting to Baluarte de San Diego:

Baluarte de San Diego is located in the city of Manila. You could reach it by riding any of the following; jeepney, taxi, and even horse-drawn carriages.

Here's the basic fare:

jeepney fare: P8-10
taxi fare: P100-300 depending on where you are in Manila
tricycle fare: P50-80
horse-drawn carriages: P100-200

Guess what? 

I married my wife in this historical landmark. Check out the pictures below. 

Officially TEAM NICERIO 💗💗💗

Overall Ratings


  1. why does it shaped circular like that??? for any good reason???

    1. Hi there! It's circular so that it would be harder for those outside to infiltrate it. It also serves as an earthquake buffer. =) hope that helps!

  2. hi! we will also be having our reception at san diego gardens, any chance that they have a sort of holding area for us to relax before we continue to party at the reception?

    1. Hi there tey! Sorry for the late response. Malawak yung place so you guys can roam around kahit sa labas ng venue. =)

  3. hi, i would like to know how to get there by mrt, or how to get there directly form airport???

    1. Hi there! From the airport, it's best if you ride a taxi going here. =)

  4. How did you get on the top of the circular walls? Curious kasi ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

  5. Hi. How did you get on the top of the circular walls. Curious kasi talaga ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

  6. How did you get on the top of the circular walls? Curious kasi ako sa mga entrances nyan hehe

    1. Hi there Elle!

      Shhhh but we just snuck going to it. Hahahaha. Just kidding we got to ask the guard if we could have a photo at it since nagoocular kami para sa wedding namin.

  7. Hi, i am really interested in getting married at this venue also, do you mind giving some tips etc about how you went about organizing everything :)

    1. Make sure that you have finalized exact day of your marriage.

      Once you accomplish this, you have to go to the office of the Intramuros Administration (IA) located in Palacio del Gobernador which is near Manila Cathedral to reserve the place. The IA will ask you 50% downpayment upon reservation. Last time I checked reservation fee was 33K.

      Once reserved, you can discuss the arrangements with your caterer and officiating priest/pastor.

      Hope it helps.

  8. I really love Baluarte de san diego A perfect place for special events. Great events place! So rich with history. If you're planning to exchange vows here, make sure to check the weather channel first.

    1. I agree with you Vangie. During my wedding there, it was only 10% chance of rain but heck, it drizzled right after our vows. Thank goodness it was just a short one.

  9. How to get there po, from SM Manila

    1. Hello Sarah. Pwede mo na siyang lakarin pero medyo malayo.
      Tawid ka going to Intramuros via underpass sa tapat ng City hall then lakad ka papasok ng Intramuros.

      You can ride the padyak papunta sa Baluarte para mas mabilis.

  10. Hi po! ask ko lang po kung alam nyo din rate kung mag photoshoot lang? Thank you :)

    1. Hi there kung picture picture lang entrance fee lang babayaran. Pero kung may mga costume change and para talaga sa kasal then you should check this out:
      1. Send a letter of request to Mr. Jose Capistrano Jr., Intramuros Administrator, and deliver it to the 5th floor, Palacio del Gobernador corner General Luna and Aduana Streets, Intramuros, Manila. Make sure to spell out your intent and preferred three locations around the area.
      2. You and your fiancé/fiancée should sign the request, confirming that the photos are not to be used for commercial purposes. (Commercial shoots demand a different type of permit and a fee of P12,000.)
      3. The request may take two to three working days to process. Once approved, a fee of P2,000+ must be given in cash or check. Shoots are allowed from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays only. Moreover, some locations require additional fees.


  11. Hello! Planning on holding our wedding here. I'm genuinely curious as how you planned the lighting of the venue since they only allow events at night. Are there enough lights for the garden? And are there lights inside the gazebo? Thank you very much! I hope you find time to reply. 😊

    1. Hi there. There are already lights in the garden. However, for the night photo shoot, our photographer brought the lights. :)


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