The Magellan Cross


The 485-year-old cross, called Magellan’s Cross , now stands at a small chapel located across Cebu City Hall and along Magallanes Street. The street is named after Magellan, Magallanes being the Spanish translation of the Portuguese explorer’s name.

A sign below the cross says the original Magellan’s Cross is encased in the tindalo wood cross displayed in the center of the chapel. This is to protect it from people who chipped away parts of the cross believing it has miraculous powers or as souvenirs.

An octagonal brick pavilion was built in 1834 to house it. It is an old practice for devotees to throw coins or light candles at the foot of the cross

these colored candles are sold by those women who are dressed in yellow, incuded in the price is, they will pray for you.

However, The cross that we see  is but a replica of the wooden cross Ferdinand Magellan and his men planted in Cebu on 14 April 1521 to mark the beginning of the Christianization of the island. The original was destroyed when Cebuanos turned against the Spaniards 17 days later. There is no record as to when the present cross was erected though there are allusions that this was done around 1565.

To the cross was attributed such miraculous powers that the faithful chipped away silvers to take as medicine or to use as an amulet. To protect the cross, it was encased in another hollow wooden cross. .

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