Iglesia de Santo Domingo

sights / Religious

Iglesia de Santo Domingo information

Cartagena , Colombia
Plaza de Santo Domingo
adult/child COP$12,000/8000
Opening hours
9am-7pm Tue-Sat, noon-8pm Sun
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Santo Domingo is reputedly the oldest church in the city. It was originally built in 1539 in Plaza de los Coches, but the original building succumbed to fire and was rebuilt in its present location in 1552. Builders gave it a particularly wide central nave and covered it with a heavy roof, but it seems they were not too good at their calculations as the vault began to crack afterwards.

Massive buttresses had to be added to the walls to support the structure and prevent it from collapsing. The builders also had problems with the bell tower, which is distinctly crooked.

The interior is spacious and lofty. The figure of Christ carved in wood is set in the baroque altar at the head of the right-hand aisle. The floor in front of the high altar and in the two aisles is paved with old tombstones dating mostly from the 19th century.

The church was previously only open during Mass, but you can now take a 20-minute self-guided audio tour, offered in most European languages.