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Philippines Travel Article : Fuezra de San Pedro

Fuezra de San Pedro

by Filed under Cebu

Fuezra de San Pedro

Fuezra de San PedroIn the Pier area of Cebu City called the Plaza de Independencia National Park, one will find a small military defense structure that was originally built in the sixteenth century. This military structure is called the Fuerza de San Pedro. It was built by the soldiers of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi—the famous Spanish conquistador who tamed the chieftains of pre-Spanish Cebu. This city, after all, is the oldest city of the Philippines, and the first city established by Legazpi.

A military defense structure is a basically a fortified wall to defend a certain area or city. Thus, it is sometimes called a city wall. The most famous of such a defensive wall is the Great Wall of China. In the Philippines, some of the known defensive walls are the Fort Pillar located in Mindanao, the Fort San Antonio Abad located in Manila, the Intramuros that is also in Manila, and the Fort San Pedro located in Cebu.

Of the four Philippine defensive walls, the smallest but most preserved is the Fort San Pedro. This Fort San Pedro was built to surround the settlement established by Legazpi on the island of Cebu. It occupies a land area of 2,205 square meters only. The defensive structure is small probably because the settlement is predominantly composed of the Spanish soldiers. The purpose of the Fort was to protect the settlement from the attacks of other tribal chieftains of native Cebuanos who have not accepted the presence and domination of the Spanish conquistadors.

The construction of Fort San Pedro began in 1565 using logs and earth. But with the violent attacks not only from the natives but also from Muslim pirates, the Fort San Pedro was reinforced and strengthened using hard stones. The walls were toughened and thickened. The walls of stone have an average thickness of eight meters and an average height of 20 meters. The walls at the entrance of the Fort San Pedro are as high as 30 meters. With such a monumental structure, the construction of Fort San Pedro was finished only in 1738.

Today, the Fort San Pedro is a historical edifice that shelters the symbols of the culture left behind by the Spanish Government. Inside the Fort, one will find several well-preserved official government documents written in Spanish. There are old coins that were once common during the Spanish colonization. The Fort showcases painting and sculptures along with the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century-influenced designs of living rooms, bedrooms, and schoolrooms.

Since the Fort San Pedro was first a military structure, it contains ancient cannons. One will also see dungeons that were once used for prisoners. Of course, there are statues of Legazpi and Antonio Pigafetta placed outside the Fort San Pedro. It is quite the attraction for the traveler interested in history.

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