Museo Sugbo

museo sugbo

museo sugbo

Museo Sugbo today is what was once the Cebu Provincial Jail.

Following the transfer of CPDRC to a more spacious and modern prison complex in December 2004, it was converted into Museo Sugbo, the repository of Cebuano heritage, a feat that was realised when the first four galleries of the museum were inaugurated on August 5, 2008

Designed in 1869 by Domingo de Escondrillas, it was originally proposed as the Carcel del Distrito, the main prison for the Visayas District. The largest prison during the time it was built.

It is believed that most of the coral stone blocks from the Parian Church–which was demolished in 1878 were used to build parts of the Cárcel. In 1892, more buildings were added behind the main structure that now serves as the first six galleries of the museum.

The Cárcel de Cebú housed not only criminals in its 135-year history. During the Revolution, many of the Katipuneros were incarcerated here without trial and many of them were eventually executed in nearby Carreta Cemetery.

It also served as a stable for horses competing in the “Hipódromo”  during the early years of the American period.

Early on World War II, during the Japanese Occupation, captured filipino guerrillas were imprisoned here.

aerial view 1950

This photo from the Enrico Rubio Collection shows Carcel de Cebu in the 1950s. (Photo provided by Museo Sugbo)

From the 1950s to 1976, the front section of the Cárcel served as the city jail, while the three structures behind were used as the provincial jail.

Museo Sugbo has several galleries including:

The Pre-Colonial Gallery
The Spanish Colonial Gallery
The Katipunan Revolution and the American Colonial Gallery
The War Memorial Gallery
Gregorio & Jovito Abellana Special Exhibition
Sen. Vicente Rama Special Exhibition
The National Museum – Cebu Regional Branch
Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery

museo sugbo

the courtyard




museo sugbo

Replica of The Golden Tara of Agusan. The original is kept at the Gold Room of Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA.

museo sugbo





museo sugbo

12th century pie-crust rimmed Sung Dynasty Brownwares excavated from the municipality of Argao.

museo sugbo





museo sugbo

artifacts from burial sites in Bantayan


museo sugbo

Well of Good Fortune and Happiness – a Spanish-era well that was unearthed when the rear portion of the Museo Sugbo complex was being refurbished in 2009.


Please visit the Museum. A very minimal entrance fee is collected. You can photograph inside but don’t use camera flash.


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