Plaza Mayor is one of the most historical places in the Metro. It is included among the
country's National Cultural Treasures, and is located at the heart of Pontifical and Royal
University of Santo Tomas.
The Plaza Mayor was the location where the Americans declared the liberation of the
internees in the year 1945. The University of Santo Tomas, run by the Order the
Preachers, was formerly known as Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario. It
founded in April 28 1611 by the Archbishop of Manila, in the name of Miguel de
Benavides. The title Pontifical and Royal were given by Kings Charles III of Spain
and by Pope Leo XIII. These titles made UST the only established royal and pontifical
university in the country.
The university was formerly located inside the walled city of Intramuros, but later in
transferred at its present location at Sampaloc Manila. During the World War II, the
entire campus was converted into a detention camp by the Japanese forces for their
enemies, which includes the Americans.
From its establishment in the year 1611, the University's academic functions were
interrupted twice: first, during the Philippine revolution against Spain; and second, during
the Japanese occupation in the country. Today, the Plaza Mayor has become a venue for
the university's grandest events, like the UAAP Season 79 opening, the USTV Awards
and many more.
What To See
Aside from the number of historical events that occurred in the area, The UST Plaza
Mayor is only one of the iconic places to visit within the UST Campus. From there you
can also visit the historical Main Building, the UST Museum, the Miguel de Benavides
Statue, Arch of the Centuries and the infamous Benavides lane which caters students and
visitors who are up for a walk in the park.