Plaza San Luis, located in Old Intramuros, was named after one of the original four barrios of Intramuros. This complex currently contains five houses, all with their own unique designs to represent the different eras of Filipino-Spanish Architecture. The complex showcases the lifestyles of the Ilustrados in the Philippines during the late 19th and early 20th century.
It will feel like being transported back to the Spanish Colonial Era after passing through the arched entrance of the plaza, with its rough, whitewashed adobe walls, flagstone-paved pathways, and latticed capiz windows which surround the upper walls of the courtyards. The area is lined with deep wells, fountains, and turrets, which were designed with the Spanish Colonial Era in mind, making the place seem like an old Spanish Town.
After World War II, the war caused significant damage to the magnificence of Intramuros, which used to have dense and crowded barrios, and it was reduced to ash and rubble. The Intramuros Administration then bought a property in the 1970s across the historical San Agustin Church and constructed replica houses to represent the history of the area. It started with five houses, namely Casa Manila, Casa Blanca, Casa Urdaneta, Los Hidalgos, and El Hogar Filipino. In the future, four more residences will be erected by the administration, giving the complex a total of nine houses.
What To Do
The complex is a good place to relax and unwind as it contains a number of mini villas. Some of these villas are home to heritage restaurants and cafes where one can enjoy a meal. There is also a Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life named Bahay Tsinoy to learn more about the contributions of the Chinese in Philippine Culture, and some souvenir shops to buy some memorabilia. For those who want to spend more days to explore the surroundings of Intramuros, the plaza is also home to some
affordable hotels. Overall, Plaza San Luis is a good place to visit to imagine what it feels like to be an Ilustrado when the Spaniards ruled the land.