Street Names

Quick Guide to Streets of Intramuros

PRINCIPAL STREETS: These corresponded to the cardo and decumanus of the Classical Roman street plan, emulated by many Renaissance theoreticians, urban planners and designers.

Calle Real del Palacio: Now Gen. Luna. The principal road of Manila, running north south. Named for the governor general’s palace.

(Calle Real del) Parian: The other principal street of Manila running east-west Formerly Calle del Parian, because it lead to the Parian gate. Called Real, after 1780, when the Puerta Real at the end of the Calle Real del Palacio was moved west and the original gate blocked with stone and mortar as a precaution against an army charge that would lead directly into the heart of the city. The Parian became an alternate route for coming in and going out of the walled city.



Muralla: Perimeter road within the walls; continuation of Fundición

Fundición: Perimeter road within the walls so named because it passed a military foundry at the Baluarte de San Diego; the foundry is still depicted in 18th century maps. Connects with Muralla


Northward-Southward Axis

Arzobispo: Named because the archbishop’s palace was located along this street. The site of the archbishop’s palace is now occupied by the Archdiocese of Manila’s guest house and chancery. The north end of Arsobispado was named Audiencia because it passed by the building of the Real Audiencia.

Cabildo: Named after the cabildo or city council which had its meeting hall along the street. The cabildo building was also known as Ayuntamiento.

Magallanes: Named after Ferdinand Magellan

Solana: Formerly Fonda. Probably named in honor Governor Urbiztondo, the Marques de la Solana

Legazpi/ San Juan de Dios: Formerly Bomba or bomb. Named in honor of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who was the first governor general of the Philippines, its eastern section was named after the hospital run by the Brothers of San Juan de Dios.

Escuela: Named after an unknown school

Letran: Formerly Cerrada, named after Colegio de San Juan de Letran


Eastward -Westward Axis

Almacenes: A short stretch perpendicular to Plaza Militar, named for the Royal storehouses that stood outside the walls, beside the Pasig River. The street led to a small gate called Almacenes.

Sta. Clara: Named after the Real Convento de Sta. Clara, a convent of contemplative Franciscan nuns, founded by Sor Geronima Asuncion in 1621.

Aduana: Presently Andres Soriano Jr., after the industrialist and entrepreneur who founded San Miguel Corporation. The old name referred to the Custom house at the northeastern end of the street. The Custom house was also called Intendencia.

Postigo: Formerly Cruzadas or Crusades, leads to the postern gate or postigo; connects with Calle Sto. Tomás

Sto. Tomas: The eastern end terminated at the Universidád de Sto. Tomás; connects with Postigo

Beaterio: Named after the Beaterio de Sta. Catalina

Anda: Named after Simon de Anda who organized the resistance during the British occupation of Manila (1762-64).

San Francisco: Named after the Franciscan convent and church

Santa Potenciana: Named after the patroness of Manila Santa Potenciana and a college for girls dedicated to her; the western section is called San Agustín.

Novales: Named after Capitán Andres Novales

Victoria: Named after the 85-ton vessel used by Sebastian Elcano to circumnavigate the globe. At the western end of Victoria, Gen. Douglas MacArthur set up his office with the address 1 Victoria St.

San José: Named after the Colegio de San José

Maleçon: Road built outside the walls, along the shore, beginning at the mouth of the Pasig and ending in a half-moon turn, called Luneta. This road was built for the pleasure of the Manileños, who went for a leisurely evening walk or carriage ride after the 6:00 P.M. Angelus. A brass band played marching tunes for this social occassion that ended around 8:00 P.M. when the promenaders returned home for a late supper, as was customary in Spain.


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