Monasterio de San Francisco picture
YOUNGtheHyphenate/Getty Images

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
2.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.0Atmosphere

During the day, this Zona Colonial ruin isn't much to look at. After all, the Monasterio de San Francisco has been steadily crumbling since a 16th-century demolition squad and a 17th-century earthquake practically decimated it. But your opinion might change when you see how nighttime floodlights illuminate its cracks and crevices. Definitely swing by for a picture or two if you're in the Zona Colonial in the evening.

And if you're into odd history, you may want to make a special visit to this site. Although used mainly as a monestary, after it was rebuilt following a second earthquake in the 18th century, officials decided to convert the space into a mental asylum. Once again, though, Mother Nature intervened (this time in the form of a hurricane), resulting in the mental asylum's closure in the 1930s. To this day, portions of chains used to secure inmates are still visible.

Keep in mind, though, that entrance into this gated ruin is a bit of a hit-or-miss. Although some prior visitors have been able to gain access to wander the grounds, most were disappointed to go and find the gates locked without property hours displayed. Still, due to the gate's wider bars, many travelers note that snapping photos is absolutely doable.

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Zona Colonial
Catedral Primada de America
Type
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#1 Zona Colonial

Partially barricaded by stone walls, accented with baroque architecture and lying on cobblestone streets, Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial marks the area where Columbus settled in the New World. Visitors say it's definitely a must-see, considering the city's best known historic sites are located here. But this UNESCO World Heritage Site

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