“Cobblestone walkways, horse-drawn carriages, mansions of yester-years”
This is Vigan, one of the few remaining 16th century towns in the Philippines. Vigan is so special, UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage Site and noted, “Vigan is an exceptionally intact and well-preserved example of a European trading town in East and Southeast Asia. The architecture is truly reflective of its roots in both materials and design, in its fusion of Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.” For travelers, it means only one thing—this could be a romantic adventure. And although the Philippines has many period-haciendas and mansions, Vigan has an entire district of them. It’s like gallivanting through time. Unlike many of the Spanish outposts in the Philippines, Vigan was chosen not only as the capital of Spanish conqueror Juan De Salcedo’s Ilocos, but also as a trading center. When he arrived, the place was already a center of activity, with direct trading relations with China. The Europeans sought silk and porcelain, and so the city became part of the 250-galleon (ships) trade that linked Asia to Europe and the New World. Vigan, apart from many cities, became an entrepot of different cultures. Walk down Crisologo Street and check out “Earthquake Baroque” homes.
Probably the most well-preserved historic city in the whole country. Although there are some development in the city that actually ruins the whole historic feel of the place like fast food places, modern billboards and the like.
With that aside though, there are still a lot of interesting and historically important places to explore in the city.
One of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines. The architectural structures is a fusion between Oriental and European design. The town gives a different vibe. Try walking early in the morning with less people to really feel the place. Too bad its a long journey from Manila, if it wasn't, this would have been a cool place to hang out.
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