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

Humpback whales are getting ready for their winter vacation to Samaná, so make sure you join the fun! Watch 2,000 whales that migrate to the waters of the Samaná Bay on a guided boat tour or from the observatory in Punta Balandra.  🐳🌊🌞
  
The official whale-watching season runs from mid-January to March, but tours are available as long as whales are in the bay.   How did you feel watching this? 🐚  📸: @irusik_dominicana
#GoDomRep #MyDR #Samaná  #HumpbackWhale
Breakfast, pool side. Is there any better way to start the day? Kick back and relax, your DR dream trip is ready when you are. 👒🌞
  
Punta Cana is your picture-perfect getaway. Whether soaring above via parasail, zip lining through the forest, lounging with your toes in the sand or relaxing by the pool, there is an itinerary for every traveler.  
  
Do you have a trip to Punta Cana on the horizon?  🌊🌴  📸: @lasrutasdegi 
#GoDomRep #MyDR #dreamsmacaobeachpuntacana
Happy National Merengue day! 🎶👯‍♀️
UNESCO declared traditional Dominican merengue music and dance an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.    This cultural expression has influences in Spanish, African and indigenous cultures. It was composed by the “cuatro”, guitar, Güira, and the tambourine originally. In 1870, the “cuatro” was replaced by the accordion and years later the saxophone, bass and piano were added.     
What’s your favorite merengue song?  💃🏻🕺  📸: @juanluisguerra 
#GoDomRep #MyDR #LamparaPaMisPies
Santiago de los Caballeros is the Dominican Republic’s second largest city in the heart of the Cibao Valley. It’s a modern and cosmopolitan center thriving in commerce, finance, education, services, and pulsating with culture. 🌼
  
Popular attractions include Gran Teatro Cibao, Centro Cultural León Jimenes, Centro de la Cultura, Estadio Cibao, art galleries, several cigar factories, and a wide variety of gourmet restaurants.  
  
Does Santiago seem like your kind of place?🏙👯‍♀️
📸: @carloshorton.a  
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #MyDR Santiago #CiudadCorazón
Dominican gastronomy is the result of a rich cultural heritage, which has resulted in a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes that will delight your palate. 🍽
  
The delicious dessert known as Maíz Caquiao (cracked corn pudding) in the northern region and "Chacá" in the south of the country, is prepared with dried corn, milk and spices. Sweet potato bread is a type of dense and spicy pudding made with sweet potato with a spicy flavor and aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. 🥰🥧🌽  📸: @isvvisual  @victorheredia_ 
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #MyDR #DominicanGastronomy
Our kind of Monday. Wander through the lushest surroundings in a treehouse resort nestled within the tropical forest of El Valle. 🌿🌦  Tucked away in the verdant hills of Samaná, a visit to Dominican Tree House Village is sure to delight all travelers alike. This is a great place to reconnect with nature and your loved ones.  Tag who you’d like to share this unique place with.  📷: @dominicantreehousevillage  #godomrep #godominicanrepublic #dominicanrepublic #dominicantreehousevillage #samana #elvallesamana
Looking for an awesome kitesurfing vacation? Las Terrenas has what you’re looking for and plenty more. 🏄‍♀️🏖  It has constant trade and thermal wind from February to August. Its calm water is perfect for beginners or to practice new tricks. Get ready to have a blast exploring Samaná’s natural surroundings and to enjoy its chilled vibe.  Would you like to kitesurf in this stunning place?  📷: @kiteworlddr  #godomrep #godominicanrepublic #mydr ##samaná #lasterrenas #elportillosamaná
Let yourself be enticed by Laguna Dudú’s magical underwater world. Its underwater cave system is filled with tunnels that give way to hidden wonders to be discovered. 🌊🤿  Turquoise, freshwater lagoons surrounded by steep cliffs with caves and lush forest will keep you swimming all day long. Located in Cabrera, in the María Trinidad Sánchez province, the park offers outdoor entertainment and unforgettable experiences.  Would you swim in this spectacular place?  📷: @chinamitas @dudulagoon @sun.sand.spirit.dr  #godomrep #godominicanrepublic #mydr #lagunadudu #mariatrinidadsanchez
The José del Carmen Ramírez National Park has one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the DR: the Blanco River Canyon and the Mirador de la Cordillera Central, in the province of San Juan de la Maguana. ⛰🌊  The two-day adventure begins at the Palomino hydroelectric dam, where the Yaque del Sur and Blanco rivers converge. From the top of the Gajo del Toro hill, the Pico Duarte and La Pelona can be seen at close range.  Tag your friends who would be up to adventure!  📷: @hector_ceballos @andoaventurando @vanespinal @_kendrii @viajonas @aventurascondaniel @jl.montero  #godomrep #godominicanrepublic #mydr #sanjuandelamaguana #presadepalomino

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