Cathedral of Santa Maria - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Cathedral of Santa Maria

Cathedral of Santa Maria

Inside the Colonial City stands the oldest cathedral in the western hemisphere, built in 1523 and still used to this day. Its mix of late-Gothic and Renaissance elements provide a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, with its golden coral facade and Gothic interior. Its walls have seen a great deal of history, including the coming of Sir Francis Drake who captured Santo Domingo in 1586 and held the town for ransom. He made the cathedral his headquarters.

Information & Facts

Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken in the main tourist centres.

The currency is the Dominican Republic Peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Dominican Pesos, as US dollars are widely accepted and some places will also accept Euros. The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic. Major currencies can be converted into pesos at Central Bank approved bureaux; only 30% of the pesos bought can be re-converted and this only if the original receipts are produced, so it is best not to buy more pesos than you are likely to need. Major credit cards are accepted everywhere, but a commission is usually charged and it is recommended that you only use your credit card at your hotel as fraud incidents have been reported. The best exchange rates are paid on US travellers cheques and secondly on US dollars cash and are best exchanged at exchange bureaux ( casas de cambio). Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm; some banks also open on Saturday. ATMs are widespread.

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