Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

On the south side of Parque Colón is Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación. This is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Pope Julius II commissioned the Catholic church in 1504. The Gothic design by architect Alonso de Rodriguez features a warm-colored coral limestone. Within the 177 foot length of this minor basilica are a central nave and 12 side chapels. From 1542 until 1795, the remains of Christopher Columbus were interred within Catedral Primada de América. This western façade with a Plateresque style is called the Great Gate. The double-eagle relief above the arches is the coat of arms of Charles V as the Holy Roman Emperor. He was also known as Charles I while the King of Spain when the cathedral was consecrated in 1541.

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Cathedral of America, Calle Arzobispo Meriño, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic

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