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Information about Magellan's Cross

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Religious Sites
Magellan's Cross, P. Burgos Street, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Opening hours
08:00 - 18:00
Distance From City Center
98 m
High season
Average rating
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Magellan’s Cross

Magellan's Cross

Magellan’s Cross is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Cebu City. Housed in an octagonal pavilion made up of adobe and red tiles, many tourists have regularly visited the cross. It is located in front of the Cebu City Hall, near the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Nino at Magallanes Street is named after Magellan.

On March 15, 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator, worked for the King of Spain, together with his crew, arrived in Cebu. Right there, he met and befriended Rajah Humabon, the then chieftain of Cebu. Magellan persuaded Humabon, his wife Queen Juana, and their native people to accept Christianity and baptize them as Christians.

To commemorate such an important event on propagating the Roman Catholic faith in the Philippines, Magellan planted a wooden cross on April 14, 1521, on Cebu’s shores. Since then, the cross has been known as the Magellan’s Cross.

The cross back then was believed to have miraculous healing power, so the people started to take pieces of it until it began to fall apart. The government, who was aware of the incident, built another wooden cross made from tindalo to enclose the original cross and protect it.

However, it was rumored that the cross encased inside the tindalo wood is nothing but a replica planted there by the Spaniards who came after Magellan’s death. The original cross was said to have been stolen or destroyed after Magellan passed away.


How to get there:

If you're coming from Mactan, ride a Mybus going to SM Cebu City, Then ride a jeepney with route code 10M or 12I. Ask your driver to drop you off at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. From there, Magellan's Cross is within walking distance. You can also join a guided tour for a more convenient way to reach this destination alongside other attractions.   


Best time to visit:

Magellan’s Cross is open to the public daily, from 8 AM to 6 PM. It is an all-year-round destination, which means it can be visited anytime.

Frequently asked questions

What are the features of Magellan’s Cross that makes it unique?

As you enter the pavilion, you will immediately see the Magellan’s cross standing in the center. You will also notice the sign below the cross that states, “Magellan’s Cross, This Cross of Tindalo Wood Encases the Original Cross Planted By Ferdinand Magellan On This Very Site, April 21, 1521”. The ceiling above is beautifully painted with scenes showing the arrival of Magellan in Cebu, the baptism of Rajah Humabon, his wife and their people, and the planting of the original cross on the shore of the city.

What can you do while at Magellan’s Cross?

As an old practice, devotees would drop coins or put lit candles at the foot of the cross as they say their prayers. Each prayer goes with a specific color of a candle, as each candle has its corresponding meaning.

Who painted Magellan's Cross?

Serry M. Josol and Jess Roa painted this historic cross in Cebu City.

When was Magellan's Cross built?

Magellan’s Cross was built and constructed in 1937.

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