"Panteón Nacional" Pantéon Nacional - Pantheon Tip by mikey_e

  Neo-Classical façade of Panteón nacional
by mikey_e
 
  • Neo-Classical façade of Panteón nacional - Santo Domingo
      Neo-Classical façade of Panteón nacional
    by mikey_e
  • The copula - Santo Domingo
      The copula
    by mikey_e
  • Flags line the walls of the Panteón - Santo Domingo
      Flags line the walls of the Panteón
    by mikey_e
  • Frescoes above the inner sanctum - Santo Domingo
      Frescoes above the inner sanctum
    by mikey_e
  • Walkway to the eternal flame - Santo Domingo
      Walkway to the eternal flame
    by mikey_e
 

Latin America is a region where most countries have experienced long spells of military rule, and the Dominican Republic is no exception to the rule of military intervention in civilian politics. It should not be surprising, then, that one of the main tourist attractions in central Santo Domingo is the Panteón Nacional, tha burial place and memorial for the Republic's soldiers and military heroes. The Jesuits had the building constructed between 1714 and 1745 but, after their expulsion by the Spaniards, the structure served as a tobacco warehouse, seminary and then theatre. The façade is neo-Classical and contains statues of Jesus and Loyola, while the interior, completely renovated, features Italian marble and a huge chandelier donated by Spain's then caudillo, Generalisimo Franco. Various caudillos lie here and the mood is very sombre, with honour guard and eternal flame included. The frescoes are quite impressive, however, and even if you are opposed to the military or dictatorships in general this is quite an interesting place to visit.

Address: Mercedes and Las Damas
Directions: north of the Fortaleza Ozama

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  • Written Sep 9, 2007
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