Monasterio de San Francisco, Santo Domingo

Travel back to the early years of colonialism at Monasterio de San Francisco, the ruins of the New World's first monastery. Set up by Franciscans, the complex dates from 1508. Its tempestuous history includes being set ablaze by Elizabethan explorer Sir Francis Drake in 1586, followed by destruction and reconstruction after consecutive earthquakes in 1673 and 1751. Originally consisting of three connected chapels, the monastery last served as a mental asylum from the late 18th century to the 1930s, when a hurricane dealt it a fatal blow. (Look for the chains used to shackle patients, still scattered around.) Check tourist information centers for a schedule of events, as the ruins host open-air concerts on occasion. For travelers who use our custom trip planner, Santo Domingo holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Monasterio de San Francisco and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
map
Create an itinerary including Monasterio de San Francisco
Monasterio de San Francisco Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
149 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Unfortunately the tour that hires only took us pass by this monastery which was the first in Latin America. The main part of the Church is initiated by Liendo in 1544 on a hill and completed July 23, 1556. In 1586 was sacked by the English pirate Francis Drake, and then starts again repair, which was completed in 1664, but according to historians, in 1673 and 1751, two earthquakes, which caused damage to the architecture of the monastery are produced. Also suffered several force cyclone by which all that remains today are the ruins.
    View original
  • These open air concerts are amazing! I think they happen every sunday. The crowd is happy and friendly, and the music is great- all your old merengue/son/salsa favorites from the 80's and 90's. 5-10pm...  more »
  • These ruins have a very nice atmosphere (first monastery in the Americas), so if you walk not far from this area (eg Plaza España area) it is worth to include this in your program. You can get into th...  more »

Plan your trip to Santo Domingo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Santo Domingo

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Santo Domingo by other users

2 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM ARUBA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM ARUBA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM NICARAGUA December, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM BRAZIL November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in United States, South America & Caribbean BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA January, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans