Puerta de Isabela

Queen Isabela II gate and monument ( Puerta de Isabela )

The last gate to be built in Intramuros was opened in 1861 as a solution to the heavy pedestrian traffic outside Parian Gate to the Puente de Espana (Bridge of Spain) and Binondo. Located in front of it is the Queen Isabel II statue honoring the then reigning Spanish monarch. The gate became part of the route of the tranvía (streetcar) that started in 19th century Manila. It was damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and restored in 1966.

Political upheavals in Spain led to the downfall of the Queen Isabel II and the rise of the liberal government in 1868. One of its officials, Carlos María de la Torre, was appointed governor-general of the Philippines. It was not long before he set on removing the remnants of the old regime in Manila. The task of destroying the monument was given to Bartolome Barretto, a government official. A sympathizer of the Spanish crown, he refused to carry out the task. Chinese workers were hired to remove the statue and Barretto hid it in his house before the Ayuntamiento reclaimed it. The Sociedad Económica de los Amigos del País (Economic Association of Friends of the Country) requested that the statue be made part of their museum collection but de la Torre consigned it to a storeroom in the Casas Consistoriales.

The statue was brought out and erected in front of the Malate Church in 1896. It remained there for over half a century until in 1970 when it was blown down by Typhoon Yoling. The monument was transferred to its present site during the visit of Prince Carlos of Spain in 1975.

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