Last updated on September 30, 2019
Ermita was founded in the late 16th century. Its name was taken from La Hermita, the Spanish word for “hermitage”, after the fact that a Mexican hermit resided in the area and on this site was built a hermitage housing an image of the Virgin Mary known as the Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). The hermitage has since evolved into Ermita Church, which has been rebuilt several times since the early 17th century.
By 19th Century, although still considered as an “arrabal” which refers to a rural area, urban expansion had slowly reached the northern portion of the district mainly due to the development of the Luneta also called Bagumbayanas a promenade at the coast of the Manila Bay. The district also saw the construction of the Manila Observatory by Father Federico Faura during the early 1890s, and was once located on a street now renamed after Fr. Faura himself.