Santo Domingo Colonial Churches, Santo Domingo (Self Guided)

Santo Domingo is a city with several different places of worship. The city is home to a number of beautiful churches rich in history and religious heritage. Also, the churches are all ideally situated close to one another, thereby making it possible to view them all in one trip.
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Santo Domingo Colonial Churches Map

Guide Name: Santo Domingo Colonial Churches
Guide Location: Dominican Republic » Santo Domingo (See other walking tours in Santo Domingo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Author: Maia
1
Iglesia Santa Bárbara

1) Iglesia Santa Bárbara (must see)

Iglesia Santa Bárbara is one of the most ancient churches, as it was built in 1537. The church features one main block with five additional branches. The inside is very beautiful, decorated with Gothic features and a ceiling ornamented with carved stones. Dominican hero Juan Pablo Duarte was baptized at Iglesia Santa Bárbara.
2
Ermita de San Antón

2) Ermita de San Antón

The chapel was built in 1502, although completely destroyed many years ago. Ermita de San Antón was than rebuilt to match the original appearance as close as possible. The religious building is small and old, yet more than worth your time in this very sacred establishment.
3
Monasterio de San Francisco

3) Monasterio de San Francisco (must see)

Monasterio de San Francisco in Santo Domingo de Guzman is a monastery that was built around 1508, with the arrival of the Franciscan fathers. The ruin is one of most important of the city. It is located in the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo and has been declared a "heritage Dominican".

The Monastery of San Francisco was one of the works of Nicolas de Ovando. Construction began with the arrival of the Franciscan fathers around 1508. It was the first monastery in the New World. The monastery was later hit by a hurricane. Construction began on the main part of the church in 1544 and was completed on July 23, 1556. In 1586 it was sacked by Francis Drake. Repairs were completed in 1664, but according to historians, the building was damaged by earthquakes in 1673 and 1751.

According to historians, Alonso de Ojeda was buried at the main entrance to the monastery. His remains were moved to the former Convento Dominico on October 12, 1942. Also found were the remains of Bartholomew Columbus. During the Battle of Palo Hincado (1808) against the French, a piece of artillery was deployed on the roof. The vault was cut, and a timber platform was constructed. The building was used as a mental asylum from the 1880s until the 1930s. A hurricane at that time caused a lot of damage, which was never repaired. Currently, the ruins are used for social and cultural events and are cared for and protected by law and by the county of Efemérides.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Iglesia de San Miguel

4) Iglesia de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Miguel is a small temple from the 18th century, which was established from a thatched chapel built somewhere in the 16th century. The royal treasurer of the colony, Don Miguel de Pasamonte, ordered the construction of the church. Iglesia de San Miguel has undergone a couple of major reconstructions, however still maintains its original qualities.
5
Iglesia de las Mercedes

5) Iglesia de las Mercedes (must see)

Iglesia de las Mercedes was founded in 1549 and completed in 1555. Today, the church is one of the most well-known and most visited worship places in the city. Locals visit the church to worship the Virgen de Las Mercedes. The building is designed in Gothic style, and features a famous altar.
6
Iglesia and Hospital de San Lazaro

6) Iglesia and Hospital de San Lazaro

Iglesia and Hospital de San Lazaro was originally a venue for meditating, until it evolved into a hospital for people with low income. Jerónimo de Alcocer once supervised this hospital. In 1751, the hospital was destroyed by an earthquake but restored in 1880.
7
Iglesia and Convento Regina Angelorum

7) Iglesia and Convento Regina Angelorum

Iglesia and Convento Regina Angelorum, like a lot of the churches in the area, has undergone some restoration. It is a very attractive building, designed in Gothic style and decorated with 17th century pieces of ornament. Upon entering the temple, visitors will note the beautiful wall composed of silver.
8
Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica

8) Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica

The Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica was initially a section of the Iglesia y Convento de la Orden Dominica Entre la Capilla y la Iglesia in the 16th century. Originally constructed from wood and stones, the church now serves as offices for the minister.
9
Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

9) Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor (must see)

The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. The Cathedral is fronted with a golden-tinted coral limestone façade, the church combines elements of both Gothic and Baroque with some lavish plateresque styles as exemplified by the high altar chiseled out of silver. There is also a treasury which has an excellent art collection of ancient woodcarvings, furnishings, funerary monuments, silver, and jewelry. The Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Julius II in 1504 and its construction began in 1512 under the leadership of Bishop Fray García Padilla. The construction was carried out by Luis Moya.

There are twelve side chapels, three aisles and a nave. The roof of the nave is pitched, while the aisles have cross vaulted ceilings.The Cathedral also has a treasury containing retablos, paintings, old woodwork, furniture, sculptures and tombstones.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Capilla de los Remedios

10) Capilla de los Remedios (must see)

The chapel was built by Francisco Davila (also buried here), who had a lot of money. The chapel was a home for his relatives and the inside reflects that of a very rich owner. Outside, tourists will note a bell tower, created with stones.

Walking Tours in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Create Your Own Walk in Santo Domingo

Create Your Own Walk in Santo Domingo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santo Domingo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Zona Colonial Tour

Zona Colonial Tour

Zona Colonial, or "Colonial Zone", is a tiny metropolis situated in the city of Santo Domingo. Zone Colonial is the most ancient settlement in "The Americas". Journey down the beautiful streets of this ancient establishment and you are sure to find a plethora of historical buildings, shops, museums, and churches.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Las Damas Street

Las Damas Street

Las Damas is the most ancient street in the city and thus very popular due to its rich culture. The street received its name after the wives of important individuals in Dominican Republic who liked to take walks down the street in their spare time. Today you can follow their path and enjoy the same trees, colonial houses, and other buildings of interest.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Santo Domingo Shopping

Santo Domingo Shopping

Santo Domingo is famous not only for its great atmosphere, service, and beautiful locations, but also for its shopping spots. The most famous street for shopping in the city is El Conde, situated in the Colonial Zone. Here, you will find a lot of interesting goods for sell.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Santo Domingo - El Malecone

Santo Domingo - El Malecone

El Malecone stretches for 15 km along the shore. It is a very beautiful street to walk, where one can admire the beauty of the Dominican Republic while cherishing first-class ice cream. El Malecone is not only a popular attraction for tourists, but also a hot spot for locals as well. Make sure you check it out during your time in Santo Domingo.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Santo Domingo - Northwest Tour

Santo Domingo - Northwest Tour

Northwest Santo Domingo is loaded with fantastic entertainment options. From the beautiful Botanic Garden with Jardín Japonés, to the well known baseball stadium, this region of the city is sure to leave you a very lasting impression.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Santo Domingo or "La Capital", as the Dominicans commonly refer to it, is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean. The historic district of Zona Colonial, surrounded by walls, preserves legacy of the early settlers manifested in cobblestoned streets and centuries-old buildings dating back as far as the 1500s, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, the first cathedral ever...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Santo Domingo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Santo Domingo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Santo Domingo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.