Palacio del Gobernador

Residence and office of the governor general. Although the site for the governor’s palace facing the Plaza Mayor had been determined early on, no structure was built on it until the late 17th century. In the beginning, the governor’s residence was apparently built nearer Fort Santiago, facing Plaza Militar.

The palace was rebuilt at its present site by Gov. Gen. Fausto Cruzat y Góngora (1690-1701) following an atrial plan, divided by a wing that bisected the open atrium. The southern half housed the governor’s residence on the superior floor and the Secretaría de Gobierno on the lower floor, while the northern half housed the Real Audiencia or Supreme Court. The Audiencia occupied the northern wing until it acquired a building of its own in 1788.

In 1850, Gov. Gen. Narciso Claveria gave the palace a new façade in the Neoclassical idiom. The earthquake of 1863 damaged the palace. Plans to restore it were abandoned when another earthquake in 1880 struck Manila. By then the governor had transferred residence to Malacañang in the San Miguel district, upstream of the Pasig.

The building was in ruins until its remaining walls were integrated into 14-story building, called Palacio del Gobernador. The structure houses government offices and the Intramuros Administration.


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