One of Santo Domingo’s most historic churches towers over Calle Las Mercedes and was built by the Spanish to establish Catholicism in the New World. Despite multiple disasters, including earthquakes and pirate invasions led by Sir Francis Drake, the building has preserved its original design, including side chapels marked by Gothic vaults, and altars with baroque pieces. Named after the country’s patron saint, weddings as well as important masses are held here during Easter and Christmas, and on September 24, officially celebrated as Our Lady of Mercedes Day.

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Other attractions in Santo Domingo

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Boca Chica

A forty-minute drive east of Santo Domingo, this white sand beach town offers authentic Dominican bustle: hotels and restaurants line the sand, vendors hawk wares, and fry fish shacks sell plates of red snapper, tostones, and yaniqueques.

Santo Domingo, Family-Friendly

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