Fort San Antonio Abad • Manila

The fort has it origins in 1584, when a structure was built to guard the route between Cavite and Manila, and as a rear guard for the city. The fort was used as gunpowder storage when it was deemed that the Polverin near the Bastion de San Diego in Intramuros posed danger should its content be inadvertently ignited. The British occupied the fort in 1762 and used it in the assault against Manila. On 13 Aug 1898, the American flag flew over the fort, the first time it was unfurled on Philippine soil. Photographs from this era show that the fort had been damaged by bombardment during the Battle of Manila Bay.

Used by the Japanese during World War II, they built a cement shelter or bunker inside and mounted a canon on the bastion. This triangular fort with two bastions was restored, with the construction in the 1970s of a new Central Bank Complex along Roxas Blvd. The fort located between the Central Bank building and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, serves as a venue for receptions sponsored by the Central Bank of the museum. A wooden image of the fort’s patron San Antonio is found in a niche along the rear wall.


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