Monasterio de San Francisco, Santo Domingo

(3.6/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I wanted to look up what happened to this place. Bombed? This is really a neat site to roam. See it in a state much like 100's of years ago. 
  • Llegas y vez el pasado en todo,pero a la vez siente en tu corazón esa maravillosa historia pasada que queda en esas ruinas, te cuestionas muchas cosas y por un momento quedas sujeta y parte a la vez d...  more »
  • I passed by there one of the walks, and all that can be seen are ruins. Even so, within the Colonial zone, is a historic monastery and, like almost everything in the city, the first in the Americas.
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