Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo: Hours, Address, Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor Reviews: 4.5/5

Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor
4.5
Churches & Cathedrals
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8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
3,201 reviews
Excellent
2,002
Very good
948
Average
217
Poor
21
Terrible
13

Ryan B.
North Kingstown, RI107 contributions
At 4pm the church is closed to tourists, however if you're Catholic you can attend daily Mass at 5pm. The entrance for tourists and Mass goers alike is around the corner in the back. There was no signage indicating that, just people pointing. Admission with audio tour is $2. The audio tour has a recording for the nave and each of the 12 chapels. There are also multilingual plaques for each. You can take photos inside the church, but not of the side chapel containing the tabernacle. Men cannot wear shorts during Mass.

I'll admit I have a couple bones to pick, but nothing worth docking the rating much. It's still a world-class tourist destination with fascinating history and beautiful architecture.

Our first attempt to visit was a failure. We tried 5pm daily Mass and were turned away because I was wearing shorts. I then saw a girl with VERY short shorts allowed to enter. Not fair.

The next day, I toured the cathedral alone (in shorts). I paid for the audio tour, but quickly stopped using it when I realized there were English plaques for everything with the same information. Either way there wasn't a ton of information. While I enjoyed much about the cathedral, I was definitely not a fan of the modern abstract stained glass windows.

I returned later with my wife for the 5pm daily Mass. This time I made sure to wear pants. Another man was allowed to enter with shorts, but was given a shawl to wrap around his legs (I would have gladly taken a shawl the day before had it been offered to me).

We love attending Mass in various languages on all of our trips. This one was an exception though. The music ministry sounded like children's songs (there were no children attending Mass though) and sure enough they ended Mass with Jingle Bells. Ugh. Worse than the music though was the homily. Granted, we didn't understand it since it was in Spanish, but he was literally yelling into the microphone nonstop for what seemed like an eternity. It was brutal. I've sat through many homilies not in my language, but never experienced something like this before.

In summary, come for the amazing history and architecture, but skip the daily Mass.
Written December 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B1714D
Belgrade, Serbia14,084 contributions
Among many "first things" in SD, this Basilica is the most important one imo.
In Spanish they call it simply the First Cathedral (Catedral Primada), as it was the first Catholic breakthrough in the Americas. Today it celebrates more than 500 years on American continent.
The Basilica is located on the southern side of the Columbus park, behind Columbus back, and shines intact in its beauty. Interiors are very nice, including the altar and many side chapels.
The only reason I deduct one star is because they charge entry. Place of worship should be free for everyone.
Written January 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Las Buganvillas
Cartagena, Colombia797 contributions
A wonderful place and quite unique. Santo Domingo being the first town in the Americas has the only cathedral built in gothic style. There is so much art in it so it is recommended to either take a guide or at least audio guide.
Written May 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LuizDutraNeto
Rio de Janeiro, RJ8,619 contributions
This is the very first cathedral church of the "New World"! And even after more than 500 years, or maybe exactly because of its over 500 years, the "Catedral Primada de las Americas" is still the most venerated Roman Catholic church in the Dominican Republic. It is also known as "Catedral de Santo Domingo", as "Catedral Basílica de Santa María la Menor" or also as "Basílica Catedral Metropolitana de Santa María de la Encarnación". Its Gothic ceilings, baroque altars, colonial paintings and works of art will certainly catch your attention. According to legends, the remains of Christopher Columbus were buried in its sacred soil. Just one more reason to do not miss visiting "Catedral Primada de las Americas", a Unesco's appointed "World Heritage Site" in 1990, as part of Santo Domingo's "Ciudad Colonial"! Enjoy!
Written September 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ryan O
Brimfield, MA237 contributions
Couples
The cathedral is located in the tourist area of Santo Domingo and makes for a very easy trip.

The cost to get into the Cathedral was only a few dollars and made for a great experience. It is very beautiful inside and gives a great look into the architecture of when Santo Domingo was settled.
Written December 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AniMal76
Mantsala, Finland87 contributions
Couples
While every historical spot in the Colonial Zone costs something to go in, this one is really cheap. For less than 2 USD you get also a recorded guidetour. And the inside of the cathedral is much more beautiful than the outside. Really worth the money and the time.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jay G
Haiti3 contributions
Family
I can't say anything about this place that hasn't already been said. It's an ancient building packed with history. An air-conditioned sanctuary to sit and relax a while to escape the tropical Santo Domingo heat. Buy the audio guide if you want to hear details about the interior.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kahnster
31315642 contributions
Family
The cathedral is the oldest in the Americas, I believe. It was begun in the 1500’s. There are beautiful painting, carvings, examples of Catholic antiquities, and architecture. Take the audio tour for the best explanation of each area inside.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RCDS_Family
South Frontenac, Canada399 contributions
Great stop in the old city.

The architecture was amazing. You really need to take the time and look at everything. There were a lot of hidden gems.

We were given headphones and an audio player. You can then tour at your own pace.

We enjoyed this stop quite a bit.
Written November 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gatocanada
London, UK305 contributions
Nice church to visit, not much to see but is good to learn about it.
From here walk to zona colonial, calle de las damas, fort ozama and alcazar de colon. Then take a taxi to park of the three eyes, colombus lighthouse and then to malecon for lunch at Adrian tropical.
Written February 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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