28
Jan
08

Capiz Fortification • Roxas City, Capiz

The 1738 Valdes Tamon report records the plan for a fortification at Capiz.  The church and convento built parallel to each other formed the western and eastern flanks of a quadrilateral enclosure, built by linking the convento and the church with a wall.  This structure forms the base of the triangular fort of wood trunks (estacada).  A circular structure, probably a tower was built at northeastern corner and at the apex of the triangle.   The church entrance was protected by twin towers and on the eastern side.  Valdes Tamon describes the condition of the fort as follows: “It is shaped like an isosceles triangle, with a 453-foot enclosure, with the side adjacent to the church as a base, while a tower at the western corner of the fort flanks its two other sides.  It is built of stakes with an embankment, but is so deteriorated and exposed to enemy attack that sentries have to be permanently on duty close beside the fort to safeguard it.  This, in addition to the limited capacity of the storerooms housing the royal property has made it necessary to build an extension and do repairs and improvements on the materials and buildings themselves, as is shown on the yellow lines on the plan, on account of the need for this garrison to maintain its relative strength” (VT [71]).

 

The plan attached to the report shows that the improvement would have given the fortification a star-type bastion plan.  A legend on the plan indicates that projected work (obra intentada) was to be built of stone and mortar (cal y canto) for its greater durability and strength.  Besides the new structure was to be more spacious to allow room for the royal warehouses.

 

The same plan indicates that within the perimeter of the palisade were jail, casa real (town hall) and the royal storehouses.

 

Nothing remains of the fortification nor of the older church and convento.  The church was replaced by a neoclassical structure from 1854-1877 and the fort demolished at an unknown date.  The church was reconstructed in 1954 after being damaged during World War II.  The adjacent Roxas City Hall began as a casa real, but was expanded during the American colonial period.  A fire in the 1980s destroyed the city hall but it was rebuilt but maintained the atrium at the center of the structure, following the style of the colonial period.

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