Sights in Cebu

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Home to the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu is a province steeped in history.  Here is a guide to the sights in this historically rich place.

Basílica Menor del Santo Niño

Founded by an Augustinian priest, Andrés de Urdaneta, on April 28, 1565, the Basílica Menor del Santo Niño was erected on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño (the Holy Child) had been found.  It had been constructed several times after being destroyed by fires in 1566, 1605 and 1628.  Its façade exhibits a blend of Muslim, Romanesque and neoclassical features.  A bell tower stands as a counterbalance to the convent on the opposite end.  The center section has an arched entrance that leads to an interior with beautiful ceiling murals.

Magellan's Cross

The most prominent historical landmark in Cebu, Magellan's Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan in April 14, 1521.  It marks the sport where Fr. Pedro de Valderama baptized Rajah Humabon, Queen Juana and about 400 followers, which became known as the first christianization in the Philippines.  The cross, housed in a stone rotunda, stands next to the Basílica Menor del Santo Niño and across the Cebu City Hall.

Fuerza de San Pedro

The smallest and oldest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines, Fuerza de San Pedro was built in 1738 under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, a Spanish conquistador, and the Spanish Government in Cebu.  Once a military defence structure to keep Muslim raiders at bay, the fort is now a historical park with an open air theater.  The old Lieutenant's Quarters now houses a museum with well-preserved artifacts like Spanish documents, sculptures and paintings.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine

The Lapu-Lapu Shrine is a 20-meter bronze statue of Datu Lapu-Lapu, the native chieftain who led the Cebuanos to victory against Spanish soldiers led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan on 1521.  It stands in Punta Engaño in Mactan Island.

Magellan Shrine

The Magellan Shrine, also in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, is a 30-meter monument honoring the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.  It was erected in the spot believed to be where Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan.

Taoist Temple

Perched high in the Beverly Hills Subdivision overlooking the rest of Cebu, the Taoist Temple was built in 1972 by the city's Chinese community.  With a functional unembellished architecture, the temple features a chapel, a library, a wishing well and a souvenir shop.  To get there, take a Lahug or Calunasan jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off at the temple.

December 23, 2009 change by rootee

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