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What to expect from the newly opened dungeon experience at Fort Santiago

George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2020 04:47 PM

Visitors can enrich their tour of the famed walls of Intramuros with the opening of the dungeons inside Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. 

The dungeons, located at the Baluarte de Santa Barbara, were opened by the Intramuros Administration to give the public a “complete Fort Santiago experience." 

The area once served as storage for arms and gunpowder by the Spaniards, until it was converted into a dungeon in 1715. 

During World War II, Japanese troops used it as one of their barracks. At the end of the war, American troops found an estimated 600 decomposing bodies piled atop of each other left behind by the Japanese.

Entrance to the dungeons is included in the admission fee to Fort Santiago.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The dungeons are open from 2p.m. up to 10 p.m., but a tour at night adds to the thrill of the visit.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The underground facility used to be the ammunitions storage of the Spanish Army.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The facility's proximity to the river made it damp and not ideal for storing ammunitions.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The Spaniards later built another storage facility.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The facility was converted into prison cell by the Spaniards in 1715.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The Japanese also used the facility during their occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

At the end of the war, the American liberating forces found 600 decomposing bodies, allegedly victims of torture by the Japanese Army.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The facility is now open to visitors of Fort Santiago.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

A visit after dark adds to the thrill of the visit.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Considered hallowed grounds because of its past, visitors are warned to observe silence out of respect.George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News