Fort San Pedro

A monument to Cebu's turbulent past, the Fort San Pedro in Cebu City served different purposes at various times in the island's history. The fort began as a single triangular bastion when it was first built with logs and mud in 1565, with Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi breaking ground for the structure. It served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. (Click on photos to view larger images) Fort San Pedro is the oldest and smallest fort in the Philippines. Built by the Spaniards to repel sieges by hostile natives and Muslim pirates, the fort was deemed finished in 1738, some 200 years after it started construction. Fort San Pedro The fort's name was taken from Legaspi's flagship "San Pedro" in which he sailed the Pacific Ocean in 1565. Little was known about the fort from its construction in 1565 until it was mentioned in 1739 in an official report to King Philip II of Spain. In the report, the fort--Fuerza San Pedro--was described as triangular in shape, made of stone and mortar, and with three bastions named La Concepcion, (southwest side), Ignacio de Loyola (southeast), and San Miguel (northeast). The report also told of a large building called the "Cuerpor de Guardia", where personnel that manned the fort lived; a "Vivende del Teniente", the sleeping quarters of the fort lieutenant; a well; and a powder magazine that served as storage for the fort's arms and gunpowder supply. The structure was also described as having a total area of 2,025 square meters, with walls that are 20 feet high and eight feet thick, and towers that rise 30 feet from the ground. Over the centuries, the fort had many uses. It became a prison for local rebels during the Philippine revolution from 1896 to 1898. Fort San Pedro in Cebu City, PhilippinesThe fort was turned over to Cebuanos by American Commodore George Dewey after the decisive Battle of Manila Bay, which happened on May 1, 1898 or a few days after war was declared between Spain and the United States. The fort at one time or another also became the American Warwick Barracks during the American Regime, got turned into classrooms where Cebuanos received formal education from 1937 to 1941, used as prison camp and fortification for Japanese soldiers during World War II or from 1941 to 1945, served as hospital when battle for liberation was fought, and became an army camp from 1946 to 1950. The Cebu Garden Club took over and turned the inner part of the fort into a miniature garden in 1950 while its upper deck served as offices for government agencies. The fort courtyard was used as a zoo in 1957. In ruins and with only its two towers recognizable in 1968, the fort underwent restoration. Coral stones from under the seas of Cebu's coastal towns were used to restore the fort to make it as close to the original as possible. Fort San Pedro is now a museum-park where Spanish artifacts, documents, paintings, sculptures, sword fragments, cannons, and helmets and Ming porcelain pieces of various sizes are displayed. Visitors pay a nominal 10-peso fee to enter the tourism landmark. The fort is located in Barangay San Roque in Cebu City. In front of the fort is another city landmark, the Plaza Independencia, and to its side is the Cebu Central Post Office, which is near Pier 1. How to get there The easiest way to get there if you're taking public transport is by riding a taxi. All cab drivers know where it is. From the uptown area, it's a 70 pesos taxi ride. If youu're taking the cab from Lapu-Lapu City, the ride may cost you 180 pesos. If you want to go there Pinoy style, take the Philippine icon of mass transportation, the jeepney. Several jeepneys have routes that pass the place. Look for jeepneys with Pier 2 or Plaza signboards in their windshields. More photos, click on images to enlarge: View from top of Fort San Pedro Fort San Pedro outpost Fort San Pedro museum marker Fort San Pedro entrance Fort San Pedro cannon
  • Good informative blog!
    Interesting to learn about different locations and cultures. Well done.

  • Kristine Zablan

    please email me about the information that you can share or the history about the FORT SAN PEDRO and also please include photos on what this place have…..thank you sooo much and i hope that this request will be answer as soon as possible……

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  • concepcion

    hello everyone! pls email me lots of historical places here in cebu, including photos, to guide me on my coming american friend this 2nd week of december,…pls heared my request.thank you… its me, jinjin del mar

  • maria chona castro

    is it open on january 1, 2008

  • Thanks for a very informative article, the fort has a lot of history indeed. I have lived in Cebu all my life but don’t know half of what I read here. Great post!

  • remedios

    hope that Fort San Pedro will not be vanished as a historical place in cebu coz as i have observed the local government in not showing concern of the Fort.

  • love to visit this place soon… on march .. summer get away…

  • Sheena Glee Gallardo

    Can we host a debut party at the grounds of fort San Pedro? how much will that cost? 🙂 tnx

  • hAiee
    f0rt san pedro is a nice place ..
    it was s00 nyce visiting there and the entrance fee is very affordable..
    tc and god speed!!!

  • Kobe

    I think that Fort San Pedro looks beautiful……:)

  • Hi

    I will be going to Cebu along with friends on Feb 28 next year. Of course I want to take the group (i’m planning the itinerary) here. I was just wondering how far Fort San Pedro is from Basilica de Sto. Niño and if not, how do we get from the Basilica to the Fort?

    I really appreciate any help regarding this. Thanks!

  • been there… smaller than ours in zambo. But its a niice place.. historical!

  • marivic rosalejos

    first of all…the fort san pedro is a very nice place to visit..

    it is a kind of place has a cool and a warm breeze of air…

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