Tag Archives: gothic

Iglesia Regina Angelorum

Iglesia y Convento Regina Angelorum / Church and Convent of Regina Angelorum

Iglesia y Convento Regina Angelorum is the first building made exclusively for the Dominican nuns (monjas dominicanas). When six nuns arrived in 1560 the Convent of Santa Clara was the only convent in the city that belonged to the Franciscan sisters. They needed another convent in which to live. They had this convent built.

Front of the Church and Convent Regina Angelorum

The original convent and place of worship for these six Dominican nuns 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.

Side door of the Church Regina Angelorum

The nuns of Regina Angelrum had to emigrate to Havana, Cuba, because of the Treaty of Basel in December 1795. In 1820 the surviving nuns returned to Hispaniola. Then, in 1866, President Cabral turned the building over to Father Billini (his remains are located in the church).

Iglesia Regina Angelorum

Padre Billini started the School San Luis de Gonzaga in this location. Later, the convent was reconstructed and turned into an institute for the ladies of Salomé Ureña. The first female poets in the New World, Leonor de Ovando and Elvira de Mendoza, once lived here. Since 1916 the Mercedarias nuns have occupied the building.

Iglesia Regina Angelorum interior

Recent History

The original structure was replaced with the building that is there now. This newer temple had its foundation laid in 1714. It was completed in 1722.

Interior domed ceiling of the Iglesia y Convento Regina Angelorum

The Iglesia and Convento Regina Angelorum is one of the best preserved churches in the city. It is also one of the most beautiful with its 17th century Gothic style vaults and ornamentation. Inside this beautiful church near one of its alters is a wall of silver. The altar was made by Pedro Roldán and Francisco Dionisio de Ribas in 1668.

Silver wall of the Iglesia Regina Angelorum

Did You Know?

*The definition of the Latin words Regina Angelorum is Queen of Angels. A longer phrase is Opus Sanctorum Angelorum in English means Work of the Holy Angels.

*When the French invaded Santo Domingo in 1810 the convent was taken and used as a barracks for the troops.

*Different times throughout the history of the building is has been used as a hat factory, a warehouse and a tenement house.

*In the late 1500’s Sir Francis Drake looted the church and removed a valuable golden statue that was embedded with costly jewels.


Monday thru Saturday 9AM to 6PM. To enter you must have permission from the nuns that reside within.

Church Regina Angelorum on Calle Padre Billini


From Calle el Conde turn south onto Calle José Reyes. Walk 2 blocks to Calle Padre Billini.

Casa Hernán Cortés

Casa de Hernán Cortés – Casa de Francia

(home of the Embajada Francés / French Embassy)

Casa de Hernán Cortés is one of 15 buildings Nicolás de Ovando, the governor of Hispaniola, had ordered to be constructed.

Casa de Hernán Cortés now home of the French Embassy as seen on Calle el Conde

This Gothic style building was originally built in 1502 to rent to visitors. Ovando leased these houses to conquistadors who all organized and launched their conquests from their home base in Santo Domingo.

The name came about because it was the home of the explorer and conqueror of Mexico, Hernán Cortés. He was the homes most famous tenant. Cortés planned his expedition and ultimate conquest of Mexico in this house. Other famous conquistadors who lived in the house include Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, Diego Velasquez and Alonso de Ojeda.

Above the door of the French Embassy / Embajada Francés

Casa de Francia

The house was restored in 1978 and given the name Casa de Francia. It became the home of the offices of the Embajada francés, French Embassy and Consulate in 1999. It houses space for cultural exhibitions including a ballroom, library, small theater, and a gift shop.


On the corner of Calle Las Damas and Calle El Conde.

Casa del Cordón

Casa del Cordón / House of Cords

Casa de Cordón is named such for the “Cord of San Francisco” carved in stone surrounding the doorway. It was built by Francisco de Garay who, when he originally arrived in the New World, was a servant of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón). Columbus taught Garay to be a Notary Public and Garay gained his wealth from investing in the mining of the country.

Casa de Cordón front entrance
Casa de Cordón front entrance

First Stone House In The New World

This beautiful structure was the first stone house in the New World. It was also the oldest structure in The New World with 2 floors. It was built in the Elizabethan and Gothic styles of the time.

Calle Isabel la Catolica La Casa del Cordón 1911
Calle Isabel la Catolica La Casa del Cordón 1911

Many of the noted persons of the time resided in this home including Viceroy Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus, with his wife María de Toledo. After they left their temporary home in the Torre del Homenaje they lived briefly in the Casa del Cordón before moving to his official residence in the Alcazar Colón.

Casa del Cordón
Casa del Cordón

The original Royal Court / Real Audiencia was founded in the Casa del Cordón. The house was a place of grand social gatherings and meetings of the important and “beautiful people” of the time. All were waited on hand and foot by the black slaves.

Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door
Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door

In 1586 Sir Francis Drake made his terrible and devastating invasion of Santo Domingo. He and his Pirates took over the city and held the people hostage. Drake told the citizens of Santo Domingo that they could buy back their city. The inhabitants of Santo Domingo paid a heavy price of silver, gold and all they had of any value to these English Pirates to get back their beloved city. This building is where all the transactions took place.

Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door
Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door

For a time it was the location of the Real Audiencia.

The Casa del Cordón is now the home of Banco Popular (Popular Bank). The bank took care of the restoration of this beautiful building. When you enter you will be amazed at the beauty inside. The floor and vaulted ceiling are amazing. The central courtyard is immaculate and beautifully kept.


Calle Isabel la Católica and Emiliano Tejera.