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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 around Magellan's Cross


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Magellan's Cross

See all 798 Properties near Magellan's Cross
Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu ¥5,299
Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu

Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu

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

    Situated in a 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 Mango Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    One Central Hotel ¥2,941
    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 steps from Minor Basilica of the Holy Child and Magellan's Cross. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Heritage of Cebu Monument are also within 10 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.

          Fortuna
          Fortuna

          Fortuna

          26 A. BORROMEO STREET,, Cebu, Central Visayas
             
            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 mi (2 km).

            Palm Grass Hotel ¥4,228
            Palm Grass Hotel

            Palm Grass Hotel

            68 Junquera Street, Cebu, Central Visayas
               
              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.

              Hotel Sogo Cebu ¥2,628
              Hotel Sogo Cebu

              Hotel Sogo Cebu

              0197 Sanciangco St. Bgy. Kalubihan, Cebu, Cebu
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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

                RedDoorz near Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral ¥1,422
                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.