The first Spanish settlements in the Philippines were in Cebu City, called the Queen City of the South. After Magellan first landed in Cebu, the Spanish under orders from Miguel Lopez de Legazpi erected Fort San Pedro on what is now Cebu's pier. The first, smallest and oldest fort in the Philippines was originally built as an army garrison to defend against Muslim pirates.
Since its construction, the fort has served as a revolutionary stronghold, American military barracks, a hospital, a school, a zoo and now a museum. Within the crumbling ruins of the fort, you'll find a collection of well-preserved artifacts, documents, paintings and sculptures from the Spanish colonial period, as well as a statue of Legazpi. The gardens within the fort's walls offer a peaceful retreat from often chaotic Cebu City.
With only a minuscule entrance fee, Fort San Pedro is a must for anyone interested in Filipino, Spanish or American military history. A diagram at the entrance gives a summary of the fort's history and shows just how much happened in this small corner of the Philippines.