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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Monasterio de San Francisco Reviews
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  • We visited on Sunday night when a local band plays and the town comes together to dance! Beer trucks and music and LOTS of people crowded on the hill. Has a very local flavor to it. You don't really g...  more »
  • The concert/dancing here on Sunday night was one of my favorite events of my trip. This was all amazing place. The dancers were clearly mostly regulars and had been dancing for many many years. I simp...  more »
  • One of the more emblematic of the country, but neglected by the dust, dirt, and trash, should be more hygienic, has a history more beyond the festivals that are celebrated in this enclosure. Good place for pictures. take care of the pigeons.
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Where to stay in Santo Domingo

Competition keeps prices in Santo Domingo competitive, with an excellent selection of accommodations catering to guests of all tastes and budgets. Zona Colonial offers by far the best choices, with a smorgasbord of hostels and bed and breakfasts lining the capital's well-preserved central streets. From there, you'll enjoy easy access to the best attractions in Santo Domingo, as well as the beach and the river. Look southwest along Avenida George Washington to stay at a higher-end hotel with views over the water.
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22 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM CANADA April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM BONAIRE, SINT EUSTATIUS AND SABA July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM ITALY October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM CANADA March, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Santo Domingo BY A USER FROM ITALY October, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo & La Romana BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC March, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Dominican Republic BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC March, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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