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

Dominican Republic’s natural attractions are seemingly endless. 🌞🌴  In addition to the mainland’s sparkling beaches, the DR boasts multiple offshore cayes with an even more stunning sea and sand environment. Off the coast of Samaná, Cayo Levantado is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and more.  What kind of adventure are you looking forward to in your next vacation?🐚🌊  📸: @michael_iten
#GoDomRep #OpenDR #CayoLevantado
Victorian-style architecture surrounded by rows of charming restaurants and cafes, it’s easy to see why Independence Square has turned into one of the most popular meeting points in Puerto Plata. 🌞🌿 
Explore this breath-taking city known for its vibrant downtown area, Amber Museum, rich history, scenic mountain views, stunning coast and beaches, and endless natural formations.  Puerto Plata has everything you need to have the most unforgettable vacation next to the person you love👫❤️  📸: @parejaviajerard
#GoRepDom #MyDR #PuertoPlata
Constanza is the definition of beauty. When the sun sets over its majestic mountains, it turns into a natural spectacle that will take your breath away and get you to immediately reach a state of complete bliss. 🏞🌿  
 
If you’re looking for your next adventure in a unique destination, Constanza is the place to be. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this eco-treasure. 
 
Tag your adventurous travel buddy who loves mountains. 👒   📸: @tainodrone
#GoDomRep #MyDR #Constanza
Get lost in the beauty of the Dominican Republic and behold its magnificence. Las Galeras has many natural surprises in store for you. 🌞🌊  There are several beautiful beaches to explore near Las Galeras, such as La Playita and Playa Colorada. For those looking for a more extreme adventure, there are hiking trails surrounded by the thick jungle in the mountains near Playa Boca Chiquita, Playa Madama and Playa Frontón.🐚🌴  📸: @lostnomadtravels
  #GoDomRep #MyDR #Samaná
The choice for your next vacation destination is crystal clear. White sand and an abundant marine life, you’re sure to love Cayo Arena, especially under the sea! 🌊🐠
  
There’s a whole world to explore in Dominican waters! Are you ready to jump in? 🌞🐚   📸: @podstawka
  #GoDomRep #MyDR #CayoArena
Trying to decide between mountains and beach? Problem solved: In Playa Ermitaño you’ll get both!  🏞🌊
  
The Samaná peninsula has a myriad of idyllic beaches like this one. This beach has been hiding among mountains and a lush foliage for a long time waiting to be explored. Have some fun climbing the crooked palm trees that point to its turquoise water, which beckons you for a pleasant swim. 🌞🌴  📸: @tripmoz
#GoDomRep #MyDR #Samaná #PlayaErmitaño
Thanks to the effort that each Dominican makes  every day to provide an unforgettable experience while maintaining high health and quality standards, the Dominican Republic has been awarded as the #1 country in the world in tourism recovery by The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)!🇩🇴🙌  #GoDomRep #MyDR #OrgulloPais
Looking to unwind? 🌴  Start planning your trip to Bayahíbe today! It packs its own punch in white sand beaches and diverse accommodations. ☀️🏝  This scenic fishing town boasts multiple beaches on its coastline, including Dominicus Beach and 
several more pristine, diamond-white stretches offshore on Catalina and Saona islands. Its nearby Taíno caves are filled with mystery, and freshwater springs inside Cotubanamá National Park🌊🏝  📸: @tainodrone @tracaderobeachresort
#GoDomRep #MyDR #Bayahibe
The low-lying Cave of the Swallows or Cueva de las Golondrinas is tucked along the scraggly Atlantic coastline of Río San Juan, just a five-minute boat ride from town. An optional stop on tours of Laguna Gri Gri, your captain will steer the boat inside the small cavern–watch your head–to view its rock composition from ceiling to floor while you float on crystal clear turquoise waters. Once the boat exits the cave, you can choose to swim in the calm natural pool surrounding the area.🤿🐠  Tag someone you'd love to explore this astonishing place with. 👯‍♀️🌞  📸: @nomadavirtual
#GoDomRep #MyDR #RioSanJuan
Dominican Republic has been awarded as the #1 country in the world in tourism recovery by The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)!🇩🇴🙌  Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the organization, highlighted that the Dominican tourism model stands out for achieving the most successful recovery of the industry, reaching record figures in tourist arrivals.✈️📌  #GoDomRep #MyDR #DominicanRepublic

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