Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia / Chapel de Altagracia
A tribute of love, recognition and eternal memory.
The Iglesia de Altagracia was originally built by Nicolas de Ovando in 1503. It was a small stone chapel. With the many improvements over the years, it is a beautiful place to visit and worship.
The church was rebuilt in the 1920s over the original building in an Elizabethan Gothic style. The wall of this church was once shared with the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, the ruins that run alongside this church. Within these walls are the remains of the original 1540’ brick Capilla de la Concepción / Conception Chapel.
Inside the large church the decor is strongly influenced by Arab and Spanish art. Some of the art includes the Sol de Oro / Sun of Gold, a model of the star that announced Christ’s birth, and a beautiful altar.
The Virgin Altagracia
is the protector saint of the Dominican Republic, celebrated yearly on January 21. More information on Altagracia.
During the procession on Altagracia Day on January 21st the virgin is carried throughout the streets of the Colonial city on glorious golden throne donated by then President and dictator Trujillo (the church organ was also donated by Trujillo)
Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen / The Church of Our Lady of Carmen
The Brotherhood of Remedies and of Carmen, a small group of parishioners, wanted to have a small chapel for their meetings. They built their small chapel in 1615 on a plot of land owned by the San Andres Hospital.
In 1729 the chapel was enlarged. The main entrance door dates back to this period. It was christened the Plazoleta de la Trinitaria and was used as a meeting ground for the Dominicans who led the revolt against the Haitians who occupied the city in 1844.
Inside this chapel there is a wooden sculpture of the Nazareno (Nazarene) who is a type of Christ.
Did you know?
July 16 is the celebration of the patron saint Nuestra Señora del Carmen. She is the Patron Saint of the Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana (FARD) / Dominican Republic Air Force.
: From Calle el Conde turn south on Sanchez. Go 1 block to Calle Arzobispo Nouel. It is on the left beside the Capilla de San Andrés and Hospital Billini.
Iglesia y Hospital de San Lazaro / Church and Hospital of San Lazaro
The church was built in 1573 to be a resource to mediate with and convert the indigenous Taino population. 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 and was divided into sections for the men and women. 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 to the colony and the diseased humans that were treated within the walls were just too close for comfort to the non-diseased persons living close by.
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 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.
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
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