Historic Landmarks in Cebu City for Tourist Holiday Visits in the Philippines

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Cebu City's historical landmarks like the Basilica del Santo Nino and Magellan’s Cross attract tourists from allover the world to visit the Philippines.

Cebu City has lots of historical landmarks, like the Basilica del Santo Nino and the Magellan’s Cross. Cebu City is not just the showcase of its people—the peace-loving, hospitable, ever-smiling Cebuanos. Nor is it just a cornucopia of exotic sights, sounds, tastes and smells. Cebu City also offers a wide variety of historical monuments, catering to historical sleuths, or just the weary traveler who needs the solace of reminiscence. Being the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu is steeped in history.

A List of Cebu’s Historical Sites

Cebu City's Basilica Minore del Santo Nino

The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino is the most important of Cebu’s historical monument. It houses the Santo Nino (Holy Child) de Cebu, Cebu’s patron, beloved of the faithful coming from all walks of life, of different nationalities, and all sorts of religious and spiritual affiliations.

Magellan’s Cross in the Heart of Cebu City

The Magellan’s Cross on Magallanes St., adjacent to the Basilica del Santo Nino, marks the spot where Magellan planted a cross in April 21, 1521. It is also the place where Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana were baptized. Natives began to take chips from the original cross, believing they have miraculous powers. So a kiosk (the present one) was built to protect it. A hollow cross of tindalo wood was made to encase the original cross.

The Heritage of Cebu Monument

The masterpiece of national artist Eduardo Castrillo, the sculptural tableau depicts Cebuano heroism and history from the time of Rajah Humabon to the beatification of Cebuano martyr, Pedro Calungsod. Located on the original Plaza Parian, construction of the project started in 1997. It was inaugurated in December 8, 2000.

The Taoist Temple, Beverly Hills, Cebu City

The Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills attests to Cebu City as a cultural melting pot. The Chinese community in Cebu has contributed much to Cebu’s progress. The Cebuano people’s special relationship with the Chinese people, going way beyond Spanish colonial times, is symbolized by the Taoist Temple, which promotes the teachings of Lao Tse, the preeminent Chinese philosopher.

Tourists and pilgrims scale the 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoist scripture) that lead to the temple, where joss sticks are lighted and fortunes read.

Cebu City's Casa Gorordo Museum

Located in Lopez Jaena St., the museum was the house of the first Filipino bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo (1862-1934). The museum houses artworks, relics, furniture and antique household items—which tell the story of Cebuano lifestyle from 1860 to 1920.

Cebu City's Fort San Pedro

Built in 1565, the Fort San Pedro is the oldest military bastion of its kind in the Philippines. The Fort San Pedro faces the sea. It was built primarily for protection for the Spanish settlers against constant pirate attacks. Unfortunately, much of the structure was destroyed during World War II, when it was made into a prison camp by the Japanese invaders.

Colon Street in Downtown Cebu City

Colon is the oldest street in the Philippines. The street was paved by the Spaniards during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Named after Christopher Columbus, it constitutes a highly urbanized section of Cebu City. An obelisk detailing Colon street’s historical significance has been erected at Colon’s northern tip.

The Cathedral Museum of Cebu City

Located on the corner of Manalili and P. Gomez streets, the Cathedral Museum of Cebu houses the Liturgical Exhibition of Artifacts—a collection of artifacts from parishes in the province of Cebu. The exhibition traces the histories of provincial parishes, highlighting the cultural richness of Cebu as the cradle of Christianity of the Philippines, if not of the entire Asia. Among its treasures are old maps showing (like schematics) the buildings built in Cebu in the 19th century.

The Richness of Cebu’s History

The richness of Cebu’s cultural history has been preserved through monuments and landmarks, and historical churches, that merit attention and deep study. They tell the story of a people’s march through history, till they arrived in what is today Cebu City—which is, as a whole, a mirror of its people.

Photo by Bong Bastos at wikipedia commons

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Ron Siojo
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Ron Siojo
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