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Basilica Minore de Santo Nino

Santo Nino Basilica, Cebu © Philippines Department of Tourism
Santo Nino Basilica, Cebu © Philippines Department of Tourism

The oldest religious relic in the Philippines, an icon of the infant Jesus, is housed in the Basilica Minore de Santo Niño (Basilica of the Holy Child). The icon has miraculously survived fire and numerous catastrophes since it was first presented by Magellan to Queen Juana in 1521. The church itself was originally built in 1565, but was rebuilt in 1602 after a fire.

The facade of the church is a blend of Romanesque, neo-classical and Islamic architecture, making it very striking, while its interior is ornate and sumptuously decorated. The Santo Niño relic is housed in the chapel of the same name, just left of the altar. There is also a shop selling religious articles and souvenirs, and a small museum in the basement of the Pilgrim's Center displaying church artefacts including vestments and jewellery.