Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Cathedral of Santa Maria

Cathedral Santa Maria © Lapo Luchini
Cathedral Santa Maria © Lapo Luchini

Inside the Colonial City stands the oldest cathedral in the western hemisphere, built in 1523 and still used to this day. Its mix of late-Gothic and Renaissance elements provide a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, with its golden coral facade and Gothic interior. Its walls have seen a great deal of history, including the coming of Sir Francis Drake who captured Santo Domingo in 1586 and held the town for ransom.

Interestingly, the remains of Christopher Columbus were once housed at the cathedral, before their final resting place in the Faro a Colon. The cathedral also has a treasury which has an excellent art collection of ancient woodcarvings, furnishings, funerary monuments, silver, and jewellery, which visitors can explore.