Panteón Nacional

Santo Domingo

Built in 1747 as a Jesuit church, this was also a tobacco warehouse and a theater before dictator Trujillo restored it in 1958 for its current use as a mausoleum. Today many of the country’s most illustrious persons are honored here, their remains sealed behind two marble walls. The building, including its neoclassical facade, was constructed with large limestone blocks.

As befits such a place, an armed soldier is ever present at the mausoleum’s entrance – along with a powerful fan since it does get hot. Shorts and tank tops are discouraged.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santo Domingo attractions

1. Plaza de María de Toledo

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Named in honor of Diego Columbus’ wife, this plaza connecting Las Damas and Isabel la Católica features two arches that were once part of the Jesuits’…

3. Hostal Nicolás de Ovando

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A handsome building with a Gothic facade built in 1509, this was originally the residence of Governor Nicolás de Ovando, who is famous for ordering Santo…

4. Casa de Francia

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This was originally the residence of Hernán Cortés, conqueror of the Aztecs in present-day central Mexico. It was in this building that Cortés is believed…

5. Museo de las Casas Reales

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Built in the Renaissance style during the 16th century, this building was the longtime seat of Spanish authority for the Caribbean region, housing the…

6. Reloj del Sol

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Across from the Museo de las Casas Reales, this sundial was built by Governor Francisco Rubio y Peñaranda in 1753 and positioned so that officials in the…

7. Las Damas


Running north–south in front of Fortaleza Ozama is the first paved street in the Americas. Laid in 1502, the street acquired its name from the wife of…

8. Plaza España

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The large open area in front of the Alcázar de Colón has been revamped many times, most recently during the 1990s in honor of the 500th anniversary of…