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.
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  • Be there or be square on Sunday night for the dance with live merengue bands. Also a very safe, comfortable atmosphere.  more »
  • Are the ruins of the first monastery of the Americas, access is not permitted in the interior your visitation. as historical interest.
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  • We stumbled into this giant street party on a Sunday night at Monasterio de San Francisco, and had a great time dancing, having a few beers with the locals and listening to some great music. Getting h...  more »
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