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Cathedral of Santa María la Menor

Calle Isabel La Católica, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic
+1 809-682-3848
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Colonial Zone Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic
Visit the oldest church in the New World Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic
Colonial Zone Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic
Visit the oldest church in the New World Santo Domingo  Dominican Republic

Colonial Zone

Historic Santo Domingo offers a unique look at how the New World was settled in the years following Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean on his first voyage in 1492, as well as subsequent expeditions. The Colonial Zone sits along the Ozama River, where the settlement’s original layout, walls, forts and other buildings remain much as they were 500 years ago. With its wealth of colonial architecture, the area has not surprisingly been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Among the historic buildings is the first cathedral built in the Americas, the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor (also known as the Catedral Primada de América, recognizing its historic significance). The ornate church once housed the remains of Christopher Columbus until they were moved to the Columbus Lighthouse, in the eastern part of the city.

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Visit the oldest church in the New World

The oldest church in the “New World”, Catedral Primada de America, can be found in the heart of the oldest European city in the Americas: La Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Its foundation stone was laid by Diego Columbus (Christopher‘s firstborn son) in 1510. It was completed in 1540.