Basilica Menor del Sto. Niño

Last Updated: December 12, 2017
 
Commonly known as the Sto. Niño Church, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines and serves as the Mother and Head of all churches in the country.
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
It houses the oldest image of the Holy Child called Sto. Niño de Cebu, from where the name of the church was based. The first church was established in 1565 but was burned down in 1566. The church as it stands now was completed in 1740.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
The Basilica was said to be established on the same spot where the image was found by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.  The image is the same figure given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of the rajah of Cebu when she was converted into Christian.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
The image is the center of intense devotion and religious pilgrimage through out the Visayas. To accommodate the large number of worshipers, they have built a pilgrimage just right in front of the Basilica. This center is open-air and has a capacity of about 3,500.00.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
This church was made a Basilica in a1965 by John Pope VI being the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines. Prior to that, it was already declared a National Historical Landmark.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
Photo taken in 2016 - after the earthquake
The church has a museum that houses religious relics and antiques. It also has a library that was originally for the use of friars only, but recently opened to all serious non-clerical researchers.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
In October 2013, the church was seriously damaged by the earthquake that hit Cebu and the neighboring province, Bohol. The belfry and facade were damaged and some walls cracked. It was later on restored. 
I was able to go back there in 2016 and the facade of the church changed. It looked more like the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Photo taken in 2013 - before the earthquake
The church is located just a few minutes from Magellan's Cross and not far from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.  It's one of the most visited tourist attraction in the province both for locals and foreigners.

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