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AMERICA’S FIRST CATHEDRAL

Catedral Primada de America
(America’s First Cathedral)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Catedral Primada de America is officially known as Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion is located at the heart of La Zona Colonial. The Cathedral has 14 chapels and one of them said to be the first resting place of Christopher Columbus.

According to a friend, this Cathedral is expensive if you book it for weddings and other ocassions. That’s why 4 of the couples I saw during my visit were contented to have their wedding pictorials taken outside the stone-walled church.

The bust statue on the left side of the facade is that of late Pope John Paul II. Like many churches, this one is turning to be like a museum of catholicism. The only people inside when I went there were tourists and tour guides.

In late aternoon, I passed by this church and I saw people making a makeshift stage outside the north gate. They had a mass service later that evening where people sat on few benches and many stood at parque Colon square. I wondered why didn’t they do it inside the cathedral itself. The population of those who attended the mass were not that many as I expected in a Catholic counry. Surely it was a crowd. But, by my estimates, they all can be accomodated inside the cathedral. I planned to ask one of those guides there, but I was afraid, they’d charge me a dollar for asking—just like what happened earlier that day when I asked one of them if the church is the Catedral Primada de America.

A dollar is JUST a dollar. It doesn’t make me rich or make me poor. But, charging someone a dollar for just confirming / asking what the name of the place is—is just freakin’ ridiculous, isn’t it?

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