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

The San Pedro Apóstol Cathedral is a beautiful emblem of the city of San Pedro de Macorís.  Recently restored, this neo-Gothic style temple, whose concrete construction dates back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, has a rich religious and architectural legacy. You won't be disappointed walking inside to see the artwork, carvings, statues, woodwork and stoned glass.⛪️🔔
📸: @nelsonguzman01
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #SanPedro
Weekend forecast: 100% chance of fun! Gushing rivers, high altitudes, and tropical rainforests overlooking coastlines: zip lining takes on a new meaning in the DR.  At Samaná you’ll find the longest zip line run in the country. Glide in pairs and flip upside-down at 400 feet above the verdant hills of El Valle. This is a great way to take in a panoramic view of the splendid landscape.  What's the most exhilarating activity or sport you've tried?🌴🌞
📸: @beautifuldestinations
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #Samaná
How amazing is this view and have you been to Las Terrenas yet? 🌊🌴  Las Terrenas is a charming beach town that is surrounded by several beaches, which provide different experiences, even though they’re not far away. Samaná is blessed with wondrous nature and warm people that will leave marks on your memory.  Do you have any favorite picturesque spots in Samaná?🐚🌞
📸: @jmpprd
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #LasTerrenas
Samaná’s shopping is diverse and plentiful. It offers numerous handmade arts and crafts. Pick up amber or larimar jewelry, Taíno-inspired ceramics, paintings, cigars, chocolate, coffee, mamajuana or our famous faceless dolls.  What’s your favorite Dominican souvenir? 🪴
📸: @parisverra @beautifuldestinations 
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #Samaná
Flying through the air in paradise. Would you dare try this out? Find bliss in a simple, but thrilling activity in the best setting of all: Samaná.  Samaná natural attractions are seemingly endless. Its secluded beaches, rivers and mountains are delightful. Its people are caring and welcoming.  When you finish your vacation, it won’t be over. It will dwell within you.🌴🌞  📸: @beautifuldestinations @parisverra
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #Samaná
Besides fun watersports, Cabarete offers exclusive vacation home rentals and villas for those lucky enough to find the eternal vacation. 🏄  How about getting a break for the entire winter season? You’ll find a myriad of activities in Puerto Plata and beyond.  Whether you’d like to visit short-term or long-term, you’ll find the right activity for you in Cabarete. 🌴🐚  📸: @tourdelust @seahorseranchcabarete 
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #Cabarete
Stop, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the wondrous nature around you. 🌬  Salto El Limón will be the most rewarding part of your hike through the mountains. As the years pass, the most enjoyable moments are the ones that remain fresh our memory. Make it count now. Just come to Samaná and let us take care of the rest.  Is this your kind of vacation? Share your most memorable waterfall moment in the comments🏞❤️
📸: @asenseofhuber @beautifuldestinations
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #SaltoElLimon #Samaná
Do you prefer vacations by the mountains or by the beach?  Perched at an altitude of 1,736 feet in the Cordillera Central mountain range, Jarabacoa features cool temperatures, fresh rivers, and sweeping green landscapes flanked by dense pine forests that will help you find pure joy. It is a world of outdoor adventures: river rafting, tubing, canyoning and rappelling. 🌳🏞  Who would like to enjoy this magnificent view? Tag someone who would!👥
📸: @ashleymcky 
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #Jarabacoa
The key to Dominican cuisine is the wide variety of local organic produce that grow in its fertile land, after being planted by caring hands. 🥬🍆🥑🍠
📸: @turismord
#GoDomRep #OpenDR
The beauty of this place is sublime. Where else can you have an entire beach for yourself? And a beach like this, no less!  Coming to Bahía de las Aguilas is truly a privilege. There are miles and miles of unspoiled beach all around. Snorkeling here is a dream. While you explore this place, the struggles of daily life will banish and you will start living in the moment. 🌊🌿  That is the true power of this enchanted land.
🌾🌵 
📹: @doctorsantana 
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #BahiadelasAguilas

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