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Magellan's Cross

The first Catholic Filipinos were baptized on the site of this historic chapel, believed to contain the original cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

Visit the ornate Spanish pavilion that shelters the holy relic of Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City. Established by Spanish and Portuguese explorers on the orders of the famous voyager Ferdinand Magellan, the cross marks the beginning of the Philippines’ Catholicization and is an important religious and historic landmark in the city. Admire the chapel’s pretty architecture and see the centuries-old cross against a backdrop of painted scenes on the ceiling.

Walk across the paved square from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño to reach the octagonal stone chapel, which was built in 1834 to protect the holy relic. The chapel has large arched doorways and a red-tiled roof. Make your way through one of the arches and gaze up at the fabled cross. Locals say that Catholicism in the Philippines began on this very site with the baptism of King Humabon and Queen Juana. Check out the paintings on the chapel’s ceiling, which depict the stories of Magellan reaching Cebu Island’s shores, planting a cross and baptizing the Filipino chieftain.

Read the small plaque beneath the cross explaining that the original crucifix has been encased in tindalo timber to protect it from the elements. Some believe the original cross was damaged by devotees who wished to chip off pieces of wood to keep as souvenirs or miraculous relics. Others say the original cross was destroyed or stolen shortly after Magellan’s death and was quickly replaced by the replica you see today.

Although no one can say which of these stories is true, Magellan’s Cross is a wonderful place to enjoy the atmosphere of a significant pilgrimage site. Take part in the local tradition of placing a coin or a small prayer candle at the base of the cross.

Magellan’s Cross is located in historic Santo Niño, about a 25-minute walk from the Cebu-Mactan Ferry Terminal. Reach the area easily by bus to nearby Cebu City Hall. The chapel is free to visit. It is within a short walking distance from some of Cebu’s most significant historic sites, including Fort San Pedro and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.


Guide to Exploring Magellan's Cross


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Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu RM234
Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu

Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu

Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu, Cebu
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the shopping district, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cebu International Convention Center, Ayala Center and Cebu Business Park. Cebu IT Park and Fuente Osmena Circle are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    One Central Hotel RM114
    One Central Hotel

    One Central Hotel

    Corner Sanciangko and Leon Kilat Street, Cebu, Cebu
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Cebu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cebu Coliseum and University of San Carlos. Magellan's Cross and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

      Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia
      Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia

      Sampaguita Suites Plaza Garcia

      Plaza Garcia Building Magallanes St, Cebu, Cebu
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Cebu, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Magellan's Cross and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Heritage of Cebu Monument and University of San Carlos are also within 15 minutes.

        HappyNest Hostel Cebu
        HappyNest Hostel Cebu

        HappyNest Hostel Cebu

        Lapu-Lapu St, Behind Toyota MJ Cuenco, Cebu, Central Visayas
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Cebu, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Heritage of Cebu Monument. Magellan's Cross and University of San Carlos are also within 15 minutes.

          Radisson Blu Cebu RM479
          Radisson Blu Cebu

          Radisson Blu Cebu

          Serging Osmena Blvd; corner Juan Luna, Cebu, Cebu
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Cebu hotel is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of Pier 4 and SM City Cebu. Ayala Center and Magellan's Cross are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Fortuna
            Fortuna

            Fortuna

               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Cebu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Magellan's Cross, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and University of San Carlos. Fuente Osmena Circle and Heritage of Cebu Monument are also within 1 mile (2 km).

              Palm Grass Hotel RM164
              Palm Grass Hotel

              Palm Grass Hotel

                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Cebu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum, Magellan's Cross and University of San Carlos. Heritage of Cebu Monument and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 10 minutes.

                RedDoorz near Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
                RedDoorz near Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

                RedDoorz near Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

                Logarta Street, San Roque, Cebu
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Cebu, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo Parian, Heritage of Cebu Monument and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Magellan's Cross and University of San Carlos are also within 15 minutes.