Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Within these Walls Lies Hogwarts

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A Harry Potter movie poster

I recently caught on cable one of the Harry Potter movies. It brought back memories of J.K. Rowling's  famous boy wizard  and his magical and challenging journey. It also reminded me of my wish to head to England to see Alnwick Castle, the historical castle that became popular among us Muggles when it was featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.  But it looks like I don't need to go to England soon. Within the walls of an old city in the Philippines, and in the most ironic location, lies Hogwarts.

Journey beyond your imagination and find Hogwarts here:

San Agustin Church and Museum
(The museum is the one on the right.)

Yes, Hogwarts is inside the San Agustin Church and Museum in Intramuros, the walled city of  Manila. You might miss it (like I did during my first visit) if you spend most of your time on the museum's ground floor or at the central garden. Just make sure to go farther down the museum's corridors...

One of the museum's corridors

And you'll find the hallway leading to the Hogwarts' grand staircase and the talking portraits hall!

If those paintings could talk, what would they say?
Well, actually, its the main staircase of the museum which leads to the second floor. Climb the steps, take a closer look at the paintings, look at the dome-shaped ceiling, and you'll feel like you've been transported inside Hogwarts faster than you can say "Alohomora!"

Now I'm not gonna show you photos of each and every part of Hogwarts, err, the San Agustin Museum. It's best to see it for yourselves! I do suggest you visit around 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. for a more surreal experience (especially when you're walking on the second floor and the darkness starts to set in). And in case you're not a Potter fan (which I doubt, because why would you be reading this?), there are a lot of fascinating things to see inside the museum and at the San Agustin Church such as ivory carvings, artistic treasures, early 20th century art pieces, ornate retablos and carrozas, among others. That's because the San Agustin Church is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines and is considered as one of the UNESCO heritage sites.

For shutterbugs, the museum has many interesting spots for taking photos. In fact, you can go to the Choir loft and have your friends "act" like royalty. (Note:  The Choir loft is also the best place to take a photo of the San Agustin Church's interiors.)

Old choir seats carved from Molave can serve as your throne. 
The San Agustin Museum is open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn and from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is located at General Luna St. in Intramuros. The Museum has an entrance fee. 

Entrance fee for visitors.

Go on and explore Hogwarts in Manila! Bring the kids (or the child-at-heart).

Thanks to Jimmy of the Rotaract Club of Subang for sharing some of his photos. 


  1. I don't go to the museum when I'm in Intramuros. Now I have a reason to visit.

  2. San Agustin Museum doesn't seem impressive from outside but it's a different thing once you explore its halls and corridors. :-)


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