Monasterio de San Francisco, Santo Domingo

3.7
#8 of 21 in Historic Sites in Santo Domingo
Ruin Tourist Spot
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. Add Monasterio de San Francisco to your Santo Domingo travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Santo Domingo family vacation planner.
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  • Normally the ruins of the Monastery are closed, BUT every Sunday evening they have live tropical music played by a group called Bonyé. This is an established Dominican tradition and locals from all ag...  more »
  • This place comes to life on Sunday night where a sea of people spread out onto the side streets leading up to this ruin. A live band plays and people of all age dance the night away. It is a great pla...  more »
  • Things are falling apart. You can see that there is no money to keep this place together or try to rehabilitate it. It's a bit sad but still interesting. You can see that it once was a huge structure.  more »