Magellan’s Cross: A Vital Piece of History and Culture in Cebu City
Welcome to the historic city of Cebu, a place where traces of the past are ever-present in its everyday hustle and where one piece of history significantly stands out – The Magellan’s Cross. This must-see attraction isn’t just significant to Cebu City’s history, but symbolizes a monumental turning point in the Philippines’ religious journey.
Overview of Magellan’s Cross
Planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon their arrival in Cebu in 1521, the Magellan’s Cross serves as an emblem of the Philippines’ conversion to Christianity. It stands majestically in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street, inviting locals and tourists alike to marvel at a significant piece of Christian heritage.
A Step Back in Time: The History of Magellan’s Cross
The Magellan’s Cross is entwined with the momentous journey of Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese explorer. His expedition in 1521 opened the doors to a new era in Philippine history when Rajah Humabon, the then ruler, together with his queen and several subjects, were baptized as Christians. This cross is a symbol of that monumental event – marking the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.
Visiting Magellan’s Cross
Situated on Magallanes Street, Cebu City, the site is open to visitors daily. While there is no entrance fee, donations are accepted and appreciated. The location is easily accessible from other tourist sites in the city, making it a convenient stop for any visitor. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Don’t forget to respect the religious nature of the site.
As you explore Cebu City, check out other attractions close to Magellan’s Cross. Visit the Sto. Niño Basilica, where the original and oldest religious relic of the Philippines, the image of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus), is housed. Explore the Cebu Heritage Monument, a tableau of sculptures showcasing the city’s history. Visit Fort San Pedro, a military defense structure built by Spanish conquistadors. Experience Museo Sugbo, a museum housed in what was once a provincial jail. Walk through Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines, and pay a visit to Mactan Shrine, a monument erected in honor of local hero, Lapu-Lapu.
The Magellan’s Cross continues to be a compelling witness to the rich history and cultural heritage of the Philippines. It’s a journey that takes you back to the era of explorations, conversions, and historic upheavals. Beyond its religious significance, it serves as a gateway to other historical attractions within the city. So, whether you are a history enthusiast, a curious traveler, or a devoted pilgrim, Magellan’s Cross and its surrounding treasures are a must-visit. Embark on this cultural and historical journey to appreciate the vibrant and living past embedded in the city of Cebu!