Iglesia y Convento de las Mercedes / The Church and Convent of Our Lady of Mercy
This church is the works of Rodrigo de Liendo. Construction began in 1549 and finished in 1555. It was known as one of the most distinguished temples in the Indies. This is one of the most loved temples by the Dominican people. They come here to pray to the Virgen de las Mercedes.
Originally built as a gothic type temple,
with a baroque altar and lateral ornamentations of silver. It also included several smaller chapels.
The church underwent several changes and remodeling. In 1635 two gothic arcs were added to enhance the dome ceiling. A bell tower was also added to the structure. In 1910 the back part of the church was changed into a convent.
The building could not stand up to the earthquakes so the walls were strengthened which, in turn, made the building lose much of its original gothic splendor.
The statue of Saint Padre Pio de Pietrelcina stands in the Plaza at the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes. Padre Pio was born in Pietrelcina, southern Italy on May 25, 1887 – died September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio on June 16, 2002.
Why do the Dominican people celebrate Las Mercedes? About Our Lady of Mercy / Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes. Patrona de la República Dominicana.
*Did you know that one of the bells located at the church are from the ship U.S.S. Memphis? T ship’s bell was given to the people of Santo Domingo for their help in rescuing the ship’s crew. About the wreck of The Memphis.
: From Calle el Conde turn north onto Calle Jose Reyes. Walk 2 blocks and turn left onto Calle Mercedes.