Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino | Cebu Travel Guide

Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño or Minor Basilica of the Holy Child is one of the minor basilicas in Cebu City.  This is one of the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country built in the same spot where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.  This statue is the same with the statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon, 44 years later, as a gift during their baptism on April 14, 1521 at the exact location of Magellan's Cross today.

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This church was founded by Rev. Andres de Urdanera on April 28, 1565.  The very first church structure was made from hard wood and nipa but it was burned down in November 1, 1566.  Thirty years later, 1605, the replacement of this church was started by Rev. Pedro Torres and was completed in 1626.  But, it was again destroyed by fire in March 1628.  The next structure was built immediately, using stone and bricks, by Rev. Juan de Medina, but it was stopped due to the low quality of bricks being used.

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Historical Sites in the Philippines

Oldest Church in the Philippines
The foundation of this church was started on February 29, 1735 by Father Provincial Bergaño, Governor-General Fernando Valdes, Bishop Manuel Antonio Decio y Ocampo and Rev. Juan de Albarran who designed the structure.  The church that we can see today  is made from hard stones ordered by Fernando Valdes y Tamon.  This church was built in the same spot where the previous church stood and was completed in 1739-1740.

San Agustin Church
In September 1990, the friday masses were moved into the Pilgrim Center (photo above) to accommodate more people.  This is an open theater located in front of the basilica.  It can accommodate about 3,500 devotees at a time during masses or large festivities.  Another place that can be found in the Basilica Complex, at the rear portion of the Pilgrim Center is the Museum.  It houses the history of Christianity in the Philippines.  Some historical and religious artifacts like the images of Santo Niño, antique relics, furniture's, glasses, vestments and etc. used by the former catholic leaders can be found. This church is just few steps from Magellans Cross.

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