Heritage is defined as the “evidence of the past, such as historical sites, buildings, and the unspoiled natural environment, considered collectively as the inheritance of present-day society,” according to the Collins English Dictionary, one of the aspects that Cebu boasts of when it comes to being the Queen City of the South. As the first Spanish settlement in the country, Cebu is known as the oldest city in the Philippines. Locals and tourists alike can take a trip down memory lane on the old roads of the city and immediately transcend back in time.
Extending through centuries, much of the province’s rich heritage is still alive in its glorious form and ready to be admired by everyone. Here are some of the historical sites to visit when you find yourself exploring the wonders of Cebu City.
Fort San Pedro
Properly known as Fuerte de San Pedro, this local heritage is a military defense structure built by the Spaniards who were under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, also known as the first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines. The fortress is built in the Plaza Independencia, near the city’s pier area, and was originally made with wood, but was transformed into a stone fort in the early 17th century upon the arrival of Legazpi. The stronghold was then attacked and conquered by Filipino revolutionaries during the Philippine Revolution at the end of the 19th century, who utilized it as a stronghold. Fort San Pedro is located at A. Pigafetta Street and can be reached within 12-15 minutes of traveling.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
The ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral was one of the primary churches within the country built close to Fort San Pedro in April 1565. During the second world war, almost all of the cathedrals were obliterated by bombings of the city, and only the steeple (which was built in 1835), the façade, and the dividers remained. It was rapidly rebuilt, however, in the 1950s. In 1982, a mausoleum was constructed at the back of the sacristy which is used as the final resting place for the remains of the local religious administrators and clergymen.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu
The Basilica del Santo Niño de Cebu is the country's oldest Roman Catholic church, founded in 1565, and was built on the site where the image of the Santo Nio de Cebu was discovered during Miguel López de Legazpi's expedition. The icon, which is a statuette of the Child Jesus, is said to be the same one given to Rajah Humabon's wife by Ferdinand Magellan at the royal couple's christening on April 14, 1521. It was discovered 40 years later, preserved in a wooden box, by a soldier named Juan de Camuz. This heritage is located at Osmena Boulevard within the city proper.
Magellan’s Cross Pavilion
Found along P. Burgos Street and best-known as Magellan's Cross, this local heritage is a monument located in Plaza Sugbo, right next to the Basilica del Santo Niño. It holds a Christian cross that is thought to have been placed by explorers from the first circumnavigation of the world, led by Ferdinand Magellan, upon their arrival in Cebu on April 21, 1521. On a plaque below the cross, it is explained that the original cross is encased in the interior of the wooden cross found in the center of the chapel. The pavilion is a proclaimed National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines together with the Basilica del Santo Niño's church and convent structures.
Meanwhile, here are two historical sites located in Mactan Shrine that you should also not miss out on (even if it’s a little bit farther from the city proper).
Featuring the 20-meter (66 feet) bronze statue portraying the first Filipino hero, the Mactan Shrine gives tribute to our very own warrior Lapu-Lapu and commemorates his triumph over Ferdinand Magellan during the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1951. The location is said to be the estimated place of the famed battle between Datu Lapu-Lapu against Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his men. The Mactan shrine was built in 1969 and is considered a national shrine in the country.
Another historical must-see spot on the island of Mactan is the Magellan Monument, a stone obelisk that was put up in the Spanish colonial era in 1866 dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan, an explorer who is known for leading the majority of the world’s first circumnavigation. The platform has a plaque that states the date of the explorer’s death during battle, the words “Spanish Glory”, and also Magellan’s original Portuguese name carved on the obelisk.
Tourists and locals alike can visit these monuments by taking a 45-min trip from the city proper to Mactan Island. Nearby landmarks include Big Foot Studios, The Mactan Newtown, and The Promenade Mactan.
Cebu has a lot of tourist spots and attractions to offer, and here is a glimpse of its rich historical sites. Seeing all that this province has to offer, Vista Residences, Inc. takes the opportunity to invest in the hailed Queen City of the South with its pioneering project in Cebu, Suarez Residences. Occupants of this premiere project can have access to the rich background and culture of Cebu and many others when investing in Suarez Residences.
Suarez Residences Cebu is a remarkable L-shaped mixed-use and premiere condominium with a shopping center, hotel, and residential hub all in one 29-storey tower located in the heart of the city at Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, and has easy access to schools, malls, government offices, police stations, banks, and hospitals.
Vista Residences is the condominium development arm of the country's largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. which offers top-tier properties across the country’s premier universities and developed business districts. It currently has ready for occupancy condo projects in Quezon City, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Cagayan de Oro and investment-ready projects in Pasig, Taguig, Manila, Cebu, and Baguio.
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