Along Plaza Colón, in the heart of the colonial zone, the Cathedral Santa María la Menor Primada de América is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Diego Columbus laid the first Stone in 1514, under the watchful eye of the architect Alonso Rodriguez and thirteen specialists, specially mandated by the King of Spain. But in fact, he will perform this monument in Mexico City. In 1519, Bishop Alejandro Geraldini, noting that the cathedral was still a draft, réactive its construction by symbolically posing a new first stone on 25 March 1521. The workshop continued until 1540, but the bell was never completed. In 1546 Pope Paul II devoted him to the metropolitan cathedral and the first cathedral of India, giving him authority over all churches in the New World. During the city bag in 1586, Francis Drake installed his headquarters. She sheltered the remains of Christopher Columbus in a marble mausoleum until they were transferred to the lighthouse of Columbus in 1992.
The whole, massive aspect, was built with stones from the coral reef. It is a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. The facade of golden coral stone is a fine example of the Spanish Renaissance architecture. It shows the imperial coat of Charles V and busts of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in particular.
The cathedral is accessed by three doors: one gives on Square square, the second, facing the square of Los Curas, is called the "door of Forgiveness", while the third is the central door. Two of these doors are Gothic style, while the third belongs to the plateresque current (transitional architectural style between Gothic art and Renaissance). On the facade one can distinguish from the coats of arms and emblems of the royal Spanish family, alongside busts of evangelists. The interior, on the ground made of brick, plunges us into the th century thanks to the presence of numerous paintings, stained glass windows, objects and furniture of the time. The basilica has a length of 54 m for a width of 23 m, and the highest height of the soil at the vault reaches 16 m. Whereas there were none in the original project, the catédrale now has small chapels all different from each other. Those devoted to Alonso de Suazo (governor of Santo Domingo from 1524 to 1528 and from 1532 to 1533), Rodrigo de las Bastidas (Spanish conquistador), Alejandro Geraldini (Italian bishop who took part in the construction of the cathedral) and Diego Caballero (first secretary of the first Royal Hearing), and the archbishops crypt and the baptism chapel. The main altar, mahogany, dates back to 1684. The stained glass windows are the works of the Dominican artist José Rincón Mora.
Open every day from 9am to 4pm. Free admission. An outfit decent is rigorously required: no shorts, of miniskirt, nor of shoulders discovered.
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