Tourism June 6, 2024 | 7:50 pm

Dominican Republic unveils revamped Cathedral Museum in Colonial City

Tourism Minister David Collado. (Photo:

Santo Domingo.- President Luis Abinader and Tourism Minister David Collado presided over the inauguration of the spiffed-up Cathedral Museum in the heart of Santo Domingo’s historic Colonial City. The renovation aims to bolster the area’s appeal for tourists, culture buffs and religious pilgrims alike.

The museum’s restoration is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s part of the ambitious Comprehensive Program for the Integral Tourist and Urban Development of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo (PIDTUCCSD), or the Colonial City Revitalization Program for short.

President Abinader and Minister Collado took center stage at the ceremony held within the walls of the museum itself, dedicated to the fascinating history of the Primate Cathedral of America, Santa María La Menor.

The revamped museum boasts a modern makeover, complete with architectural remodeling and cutting-edge technology to enhance the curated exhibits.

The revitalization project, which came in at a cool $2.4 million, involved a complete overhaul of the museum’s infrastructure. This includes 12 new exhibition halls packed with interactive, educational, and immersive displays. Additionally, all the historical artifacts on display have been meticulously restored and arranged for optimal viewing.

The new exhibits delve into the rich history of the cathedral, from the laying of the first foundation stone to its architectural transformations over the centuries. Visitors can also explore a significant portion of the Primate Cathedral’s treasured collection, offering a glimpse into the Dominican people’s deep faith and religious traditions.

President Luis Abinader cuts the ribbon during the reopening of the Cathedral Museum. (Photo:

President Abinader reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to preserving the Colonial City’s rich heritage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Minister Collado echoed this sentiment, highlighting the city’s significance and their ongoing efforts to revitalize it on multiple fronts – urban planning, cultural preservation, and of course, boosting tourism by making the area even more competitive.

First Lady Raquel Arbaje, members of the Santo Domingo Archdiocese, Program Coordination Unit General Coordinator Amín Abel Santos, and other dignitaries joined President Abinader and Minister Collado for the ceremony.

This isn’t the only recent renovation project in the Colonial City. Back in March, Abinader and Collado oversaw the reopening of the Santo Domingo Fortress Museum, which has already welcomed over 50,000 visitors, both locals and international tourists. They also spearheaded the refurbishment of Las Damas Street.

The Colonial City Revitalization Program has its sights set on even more restorations, including the Don Diego Colón Viceroy’s Palace (also known as Colón’s Alcazar) and the Casas Reales. These projects will solidify the Colonial City’s position as a cultural and historical powerhouse with its four most iconic museums.

The program is financed by a collaborative effort between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Union through cooperation funds, and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism alongside the National District Mayor’s Office (ADN) and the Ministry of Culture (MINC).

The program’s ongoing initiatives focus on restoring public spaces and historical landmarks, improving living conditions for residents, fostering the local economy, and strengthening the overall management of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.

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