Metropolitan Cathedral, Cebu


The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese
 of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines.Cebu was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595.
It was elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese on April 28, 1934 with the dioceses of
Dumaguete, Maasin, Tagbilaran, and Talibon as suffragans.

Construction of the cathedral took many years due to frequent interruptions, brought about
by lack of funds and other unexpected events.At o ne time, funds meant for the building of
the cathedral were diverted to the moro wars. The death of an incumbent bishop who
spearheaded the construction/reconstruction and vacancies in the office were also factors.

The architecture of the church is typical of Spanish colonial churches in the country,
namely, squat and with thick walls to withstand typhoons and other natural calamities.
The facade features a trefoil-shaped pediment, which is decorated with carved relieves of
floral motifs, an IHS inscription and a pair of griffins. The Spanish Royal Coat of Arms
is emblazoned in low relief above the main entrance, reflecting perhaps the contribution of
the Spanish monarch to its construction.

During World War II, much of the cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombings of the city.
Only the belfry (built in 1835), the facade, and the walls remained. It was quickly rebuilt
in the 1950s under the supervision of architect Jose Ma. Zaragosa, during the incumbency of
Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.

In 1982, a mausoleum was built at the back of the sacristy at the initiation of Archbishop
Julio Cardinal Rosales. It serves as a final resting place for the remains of Cebu's
bishops and clergy. Cardinal Rosales, who died three months after inauguration of the
mausoleum, is interred there along with Archbishop Manuel Salvador, a coadjutor archbishop
of Cebu, and Archbishop Mariano Gaviola, the archbishop of Lipa (1981-1993). The remains of
Bishop Juan Bautista Gorordo, the first Filipino and Cebuano bishop of Cebu, are also
interred there.