Cathedral of Santo Domingo

Visit the wonderful cathedral of Santo Domingo and admire the altarpieces and chapels housed in its interior.

Cathedral of Santo Domingo
Cathedral of Santo Domingo
©Turismo de República Dominicana

The Cathedral of Santo Domingo, better known as Primada de América Cathedral, was declared in 1546 the first cathedral of the New World by the Pope Paul III, at the request of the emperor Charles V.

Primada de América Cathedral
Primada de América Cathedral
© Turismo de República Dominicana

This gorgeous minor basilica is dedicated to Santa María de la Encarnación. Its exterior displays a Gothic style with Renaissance ornaments from between 1514 and 1546. The facade has three doors, being the main one the north Gothic door which is communicated with the Colón Park. The south door or Gate of Geraldini, also of Gothic style, is known as the Forgiveness Gate because in old times the politically persecuted people who crossed it were immediately forgiven. The Great Gate is Plateresque in style and is prior to a small atrium that was used as a market during the times of Haiti; on the upper part of the facade you’ll observe the coat of arms of Charles V.

On its inside you’ll discover the greatest works of art, which are located all along the cathedral, (like for example the panel painting of the Altagracia Virgin from 1523); as well as the tombstones of different archbishops and other elements from Colonial times. Moreover, during some time the building contained the remains of Christopher Columbus before they were moved to the Faro a Colón. The main altar has a Baroque retable.

Despite the fact that the first cornerstone of the cathedral was laid by Diego Colón in 1514, the construction works were continuously delayed due to the lust for wealth of the builders, who abandoned the place looking for gold and other new colonies like Mexico. In 1519, the bishop Alejandro Geraldini, because of the awful conditions of the project, restarted it until completion in 1540.

More information:


Isabel La Católica street, Santo Domingo. Dominican Republic.

Ticket Price:

Free admission.

Opening Times:

Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 4:30pm.


(+809) 682 3848.

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