Churches

A majority of the population is Roman Catholic, as well as other Christian denominations. As a result, Dominican churches play an important role in the culture and history of the country, dating back to the days of the Spanish colonialists. Tour the most significant church in the Colonial City: the Catedral Primada de América, the oldest in the Americas, where official national celebrations take place. The Colonial City is filled with many more breathtaking, important religious sites you can reach on foot, such as Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes, one of two representations of the country’s patron saint. Dominicans make a pilgrimage to Higüey every January 21, to the Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia, the country’s most important shrine dedicated to the DR’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary, and often included on tours from Punta Cana. Off the beaten track, a visit of the Holy Hill of Santo Cerro and adjoining church is worthwhile to see the third holiest site in the DR, just outside of La Vega, where Dominicans make a pilgrimage on September 24, Day of the Señora de Las Mercedes.

To ensure entry, dress appropriately when visiting any of these symbolic churches.

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CHURCHES IN
Dominican Republic

Churches are a symbol of Dominicans’ solid faith, revealing centuries of history and architecture.

 
 
Located in nearby Higüey, this cathedral ranks among the top most important religious sites in the DR. Honoring the Virgin of La Altagracia, patron saint of Dominicans, it’s a standout for its 69-meter (225 feet) high arch, with a bronze and gold entrance.
Higüey, Punta Cana
Originally built in the 16th century by the Dávila family, the 500-year old Gothic chapel was intended as a private religious shrine, where prominent Spanish families would congregate for prayers.
Santo Domingo
This modern Roman Catholic Church took 15 years to build, and was completed in 1992. The cathedral is one of the few in the world where the statue of Christ is portrayed as already having resurrected and not dying on the cross.
Constanza, Jarabacoa, La Vega
Built between 1510 and 1540, the first cathedral of the Americas continues to stand tall in all of its glory over the heart of the Colonial City. The remains of Christopher Columbus were found here in the 19th century.
Santo Domingo
This all-white Catholic cathedral, designed in Gothic and neoclassical style, dates back to the 19th century. Tour the beautiful interior–which holds the remains of former Dominican leader Ulises Heureaux, as well as other notable personalities of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Santiago
The striking coral and white stone baroque façade—with ceramic designs—was built in the 16th century. It was home to 15 friars sent here from Spain, who also established the adjacent first university in the Americas.
Santo Domingo
Once occupied by nuns, this imposing, former 16th century convent hosts numerous weddings. Renowned Dominican poet Salomé Ureña later turned it into an educational institute for women, before it went back to being a convent.
Santo Domingo
One of Santo Domingo’s most historic churches was built by the Spanish to spread Catholicism in the New World. Despite earthquakes and pirate invasions led by Sir Francis Drake, the building has preserved its original design.
Santo Domingo
Emulating Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, this historic Catholic church stands on one end of the town square, attracting visitors with its 19th century neoclassical-gothic design, striking stained glass windows, and a belfry surrounding an ornate mahogany altar.
Montecristi
The oldest building in Santa Bárbara de Samaná and a cultural heritage site, this 18th century wooden church was built by freed African-Americans. To this day, La Churcha practices the African Methodist Episcopal faith, and its attendees are descendants of African Americans.
Samaná

#romanceDR

~No te pongas tan ocupado ganándote la vida que t ~No te pongas tan ocupado ganándote la vida que te olvides de vivirla~ “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Take the time to reflect and be thankful during this time of distancing. What are some things you’re grateful for? 📸:@thevacaygirl
After a long week, we’re #DRdaydreaming of loung After a long week, we’re #DRdaydreaming of lounging on the beach. Tag your beach buddy in the comments below! 📸:@maelle_8
Arepa can come in many forms in Latin America, but Arepa can come in many forms in Latin America, but Dominican Arepa is dense, sweet and made from cornmeal and coconut. The dense cake is typically seasoned with cinnamon and raisins and is best served with a warm coffee. Have you tried sweet or savory Dominican Arepa before? Stay tuned for weekly Dominican recipes that you can make from the comfort and safety of your home. Check out the link in our bio for a great #arepadominicana recipe.
Keep your head up! There’s light at the end of t Keep your head up! There’s light at the end of the tunnel and we will get through this together. #DRdaydreaming 📸: @leonardopicollo
Bursting with culture, a thriving baseball scene a Bursting with culture, a thriving baseball scene and a vibrant entertainment district, Santiago is a can’t-miss Dominican destination! Do you have the “Ciudad Corazón” on your DR bucket list? 📸: @volandodr
With travel on pause, we thought it fitting to ref With travel on pause, we thought it fitting to reflect on Puerto Plata where tourism in Dominican Republic all began. With bright architecture, stunning beaches, amazing rivers and plenty of adventures, what types of trips are you daydreaming about? 📸: @felix_olivo #DRdaydreaming 📍 Tubagua Plantation Eco Village, Puerto Plata
Swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and more, Cayo Leva Swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and more, Cayo Levantado has it all! What kind of adventure are you #DRdaydreaming of? 📸:@thetravelgift_
Stay home and stay healthy. The cascading waters o Stay home and stay healthy. The cascading waters of Río Partido will be waiting for you as soon as we can travel again. 📸: @carlostorresrd
The wanderlust is REAL in quarantine. Tag your tra The wanderlust is REAL in quarantine. Tag your travel partner below and let us know which Dominican Republic beach you’re #DRdaydreaming of. 📸: @unpasajeparados
Did you know the Samaná region in Dominican Repub Did you know the Samaná region in Dominican Republic has the highest density of palm trees in the Caribbean? The region produces TONS of coconuts and it’s probably why the combination of fresh coconut and seafood originates from the area. The popular dish can be made in endless combinations, but the most popular is sautéed grouper or snapper with a coconut sauce. Stay tuned for weekly Dominican recipes that you can make from the comfort and safety of your home. Check out the link in our bio for a great #coconutsauce and fish #recipe.
We’re #DRdaydreaming about a trip to Punta Rucia We’re #DRdaydreaming about a trip to Punta Rucia. The uncrowded, white sand beaches are calling to us. How gorgeous is this cotton candy sky?😍📸: @dani_the_explorer
Working on your bucket list? Make sure to include Working on your bucket list? Make sure to include the pristine beaches of Pedernales! 📸: @by.iris.sophia with @authenticchica & @larissabruin
Looking to brighten up your next video call? Add a Looking to brighten up your next video call? Add a piece of Dominican Republic to the background! Check out our most recent blog post for 17 amazing landscapes. From the cascading waterfalls of Jarabacoa to the pristine beaches of Pedernales, being inside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of Dominican Republic. Which destination will you explore first? Be sure to tag us so we can follow along! Link in bio.
Stunning capture by @timphilippus of our Caribbean Stunning capture by @timphilippus of our Caribbean waters! How are you staying active, while staying apart?
Miches: “The most beautiful beach town you’ve Miches: “The most beautiful beach town you’ve never heard of”. Read more from @shermanstravel to learn about this untouched, off-the-beaten-path destination. Link in bio. 📸: @carlostorresrd
How do you like your passion fruit juice? Fresh pa How do you like your passion fruit juice? Fresh passion fruit is a popular staple all over Dominican Republic and is commonly used in drinks, desserts or even on it’s own. Stay tuned for weekly Dominican recipes that you can make from the comfort and safety of your home. Check out the link in our bio for a great #passionfruitcocktail #passionfruitmocktail #recipe.
Did you know Dominican Repubilc is a leader in eco Did you know Dominican Repubilc is a leader in ecotourism in the Caribbean? Most of our land and coastline are protected as national parks, reserves and sanctuaries. The best part is, it’ll be waiting for you once it’s safe to travel again. 📸:@hetisdemerckx
In this time of quarantine, we’re all sticking t In this time of quarantine, we’re all sticking together by staying apart. Tag the BFFs you can’t wait to travel with once it’s safe and use #DRdaydreaming 📸: @larissabruin with @by.iris.sophia & @authenticchica 🇩🇴
Staying safe inside has @travelmina_ reminiscing a Staying safe inside has @travelmina_ reminiscing about her trip to Punta Cana. A stunning picture like this definitely has us #DRdaydreaming about long walks on the beach, how about you? 😍
Sunsets are the perfect reminder that each day can Sunsets are the perfect reminder that each day can have a beautiful end and resets us for the bright dawn tomorrow. We will get through this and come out even stronger, together. 📸: @gerts.photography #DRdaydreaming

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