*Independence heroes (from Spain and Haiti): General Juan Sanchez Ramirez, Jose Nunez de Caceres, Juan Nepomuceno Ravelo, Pedro Alejandrino Pina, Juan Isidro Perez, Felix Maria Ruiz, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Socorro Sanchez, Balbina de Pena, Admiral Juan Alejandro Acosta, Admiral Juan Bautista Cambiaso, Concepcion Bona, General Jose Joaquin Puello, General Jose Maria Gabral, Gabino Puello, Angel Perdomo, General Pedro Santana.
*The heroes of the restoration (independence from Spain): General Gregorio Luperon, General Benito Moncion, General Santiago Rodriguez, General Gaspar Polanco, General Antonio Batista, Colonel Jose Pierre Thomas, Colonel Carlos de Lara, Commander Jose Vidal Pichardo, Ulises Francisco Espaillat, Lieutenant Ambrosio de la Cruz, Eugenio Perdomo, Pedro Ignacio Espaillat, General Jose Antonio Salcedo, Pedro Francisco Bono and Benigno Filomeno de Rojas.
*Presidents of the Republic: President Francisco Henriquez Carvajal and President Francisco Gregorio Billini
*Historians: Jose Gabriel Garcia, Antonio Delmonte y Tejada
This building holds the honor of being the location of the first university of the New World.
The Dominican Order arrived in Hispaniola in 1510 and started building. They made a wooden church first then worked to convert it to stone and masonry which they did little by little. They made the monastery first so they had a place to live while constructing their church.
In 1534 the monastery started teaching classes here. In 1538 it was turned into a college by the order of Bula In Apostolatus Culmine, with the blessings of Papa Paulo III / Pope Paul the Third.
Iglesia Santa Bárbara/ Church of Santa Barbara
This is the first building made exclusively for the Dominican nuns (monjas dominicanas). When these six sisters arrived in 1560 there was only one convent in the city, that of Santa Clara, belonging to the Franciscan sisters.These six Dominican nuns first place of worship was nothing more than a plain room. By 1567 they had begun construction on a more appropriate temple on land donated by Maria de Arana.
In December 1795 the nuns had to emigrate to Havana (Cuba) because of the Treaty of Basel. The surviving nuns return to the country in 1820. In 1866 President Cabral turned the building over to Father Billini (his remains are located here) and he started the School San Luis de Gonzaga. The convent was reconstructed and turned into an institute for the ladies of Salomé Ureña. Since 1916 it has been occupied by the Mercedarias nuns.
This Rococo style building was constructed between 1714 and 1745. It was originally the Jesuits Convent/ Convento de San Igancio de Loyola for the Jesuits. Later in its history it became a tobacco warehouse, a theater, a government office building, among others.
This Mausoleum, with beautiful vaulted central roof and magnificent murals covering its ceiling, was designed to be the Panteón or Mausoleum as ordered by Trujillo in the early 1950's. Remodeled to house the remains of some of the Dominican Republics heroes. Of course, Trujillo planned on having himself placed there when he died but it did not happen (more information on Trujillo).
Constructed around 1514 this building was originally part of the Iglesia y Convento de la Orden Dominica Entre la Capilla y la Iglesia. This church, as with most churches here, was first constructed of wood while the desired bricks and building materials were collected. It housed This is now the home of the church offices and the minister.
Here was located the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino founded by Eugenio María de Hostos.
Iglesia y Hospital de San Lazaro / Church and Hospital of San Lazaro
Built in 1573 to be a resource to mediate with and convert the Indians. It fast became a hospital for persons of limited resources, in simpler terms, the poor and destitute. It served these who suffered a multitude of contagious diseases of whom most were lepers. There were 20 beds.
In 1650 the hospital was run by Jerónimo de Alcocer. In 1743 the hospital had 20 beds. divided into sections for the men and ladies. The men got two rooms and the ladies got one room. The hospital was not a pleasant place. As the city grew it was used less because of the proximity of the diseased humans that were treated within the walls to the non diseased persons living close by.
This is one of the oldest churches with a fort in the colonial period. The church and fort were built separately with the church being constructed in 1537. The church is a single long building with five distinct sections, as can be seen from the outside of this building. The ceiling is still covered with the original bricks. When the fort was built both structures were incorporated together. This is a very unique thing to have a fort and church entwined.The bunker for the fort is included in this building. More about the Fort Santa Barbara
The first building was made of royal palm. Later, in 1537, it was rebuilt in stone (the blocks were quarried from this very site as were the stone blocks for many monuments and buildings of the era). It was always a simple church. Heavily damaged by the hurricane in 1591, then by the earthquakes of 1673 and 1684. Each time it was repaired something new was added until it is what it is today.
The Iglesia Santa Barbara boasts to be the place where Juan Pablo Duarte, The Father of the Country, was baptized.
Directions: From Calle el Conde go south up Calle Isabel la Católica or Calle Arzobispo Meriño (both of these streets lead to this monument), walk about 6 blocks to Av. Mella at the far end of the walled city, Colonial Zone.
The facade of the building has the Dominican Coat of Arms beautifully sculpted. The copper chandelier in the center of the building, donated by Francisco Franco (a Spanish head of state), is quite elegant. Along with the large dome there also are smaller domes on either side dividing the inside into what seems like small chapels.
*Beware the tour guides outside the building. They tell you that it does not cost money to enter. But they do want money for their guide services, which they do not tell until the tour is finished.
Hours: 9 to 4:30 daily - proper dress required (no shorts, short skirts, tank tops...)
Directions: From Calle el Conde turn north onto Calle las Damas. After you pass the small plaza (Maria Toledo), it is on the left before you get to Las Mercedes. See the map (number 44)
Francisco Davila, whom at this time was the richest man on the island, built this small chapel in the sixteenth century. It was his private chapel and was to house the remains of his family. This is where the body of Francisco Davila is interred.
The buildings architectural style is Mudejar, created by the Muslims. The interior structure holds a small temple in the shape of a cross with a vaulted brick ceiling. The outside of the chapel has a bell tower made of brick where the families' coat of arms/ escudo de armas used to be. The cost of arms was destroyed by Boyers invading Haitian troupes in 1830. This small but important chapel was damaged many times throughout history (by a lightning strike in 1853 and a hurricane in 1930) and has always been rebuilt.
The chapel fell into ruins by 1872 and stayed this way until three friends known as The Three Johns/ Los tres Juanes decided that this building could be saved. They were Don Juan Alejandro Acosta, Don
Capilla de los Remedios/ Chapel of Remedies
Juan F. Travieso, both heroes of Independence, and Don Juan Pumarol. They got permission from the vicar of the Archdiocese and did the restoring and the little chapel was blessed on March 1884. Since then the chapel has been repaired as needed and updated with air conditioning and other niceties. It is not open often but when it is it is nice to go inside and relax. It is used for concerts and exhibitions.
Directions: Walk east on Calle el Conde to Calle Las Damas. Turn left (north) walk about 2 blocks and it is the last building on the right before the plaza.To speak of the "Capilla de los Remedios," no choice but to start providing the location: the small but beautiful building next to Plaza del Sol clock, right next to the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando and the start of the street Las Mercedes. See the map (number 40)
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Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica
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Iglesia Convento Dominico Order
Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos/ Monastery (Convent) and Church of the Dominican Fathers (Order) also known as Imperial Convento de Santo Domingo / Convento de la Orden de los Predicadores
This building is quite impressive with it's large front pillars and portals that are surrounded in beautiful blue tile. The adornment above the door is vines entwined.There are interesting astrological and mythological depictions (At this time - Summer 2009 - they are restoring the front and all that can be seen is a giant blue tarp.) Church services are still held here but the chapel is small so there is limited access. It is said that some of the original construction materials that were so painstakingly gathered, were used in the construction of many of the surrounding homes. The domed roof that is still seen to this day was made in 1746.
In the mid 1500's Padre Fray Bartolomé de las Casas was in charge of this church. First a hurricane destroyed this building in 1545. Then Sir Frances Drake severely damaged this building. Then another hurricane. But the church was always rebuilt. This is one of the oldest churches in the city still in use.
Location: Walking on Calle el Conde turn south on Hostos or Duarte. Go 2 blocks. In front of Parque Duarte on Padre Billini is the Church (left) and Chapel (described below) with a small plaza separating them. See the map (number 62)
Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica / Chapel of the Third Dominican Order
Location: Walking on Calle el Conde turn south on Hostos or Duarte. Go 2 blocks. In front of Parque Duarte on Padre Billini is the Church (left) and Chapel (described below) with a small plaza separating them. See the map (number 83)
The building was ruined in the earthquake of 1751 and during the rebuilding the people gave it the name the "Chapel of the Raggedy Beggars" until it was finally rebuilt in 1759.
During the restoration of the almost lost building in 1880's, many skeletons were found. Many of them showed evidence of leprosy while others showed no traces of the disease. Many had other diseases and some had no traces of any abnormality. They were just victims of the bad practices of this notorious hospital. (more about the fort where the church is located)
Directions: From Calle el Conde turn north on Santomé. Go about 2 blocks between Santiago Rodrigues and Juan Isidro Perez near Calle Restauracion in Zona Colonial See the map (number 5)
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Iglesia y Hospital de San Lazaro
Iglesia y ConventoRegina Angelorum/ Church and Convent of Regina Angelorum
The original structure was replaced with the building that is there now. This newer temple, had its foundation laid in 1714 and was completed in 1722. It is one of the best preserved in the city. And also one of the most beautiful with its gothic style vaults and a ornamentation of the 17th century. Inside this beautiful church is a wall of silver near one of its alters.
The first female poets in the New World, Leonor de Ovando and Elvira de Mendoza, lived here also.
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 9 to 6 To enter you must as permission of the nuns that live here.