Santo Domingo’s Cathedral: The First to be Built in the Americas
Situated in the very heart of Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone the Cathedral is situated on the southern side of Columbus Square, the perfect meeting place for local families who enjoy the peaceful environment that surrounds Latin America’s first Catholic Cathedral.
The capital city’s Colonial Zone is not only the oldest in the Americas, but is also home to fine restaurants, discos and museums.
Construction of the “Santa Maria” Metropolitan Cathedral, the first to be built in the Americas, began in 1523 and completed in 1541.
When the English pirate Francis Drake invaded Santo Domingo, the Cathedral became his headquarters. During their stay there, Drake’s troops literally destroyed and looted the church.
Its Gothic limestone structure, based on drawings made by Archbishop Alonso de Rodriguez, stands in a three thousand square meter area. The Cathedral has three main entrances. One of the doors, known as the “Door of Forgiveness,” communicates with the Plaza of the Priests. Another opens unto Columbus Square, while the main entrance, on the building’s west side, leads directly to the main altar.
The Cathedral features 14 side chapels and features a vast collection of religious art, including altar pieces, paintings (some dating back to 1523), period furniture and statues, among other fine museum pieces.
Source: Access DR
Dec 15, 2015
Category: DR Living |