5 Gothic Cathedrals in the Caribbean


Gothic Cathedrals Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. In the Caribbean you can explore and discover some of these amazing structures while on your Caribbean holidays. Possessing truly awe-inspiring beauty, the islands gothic cathedrals offer a delightful glimpse in the rich history of the islands.

Take some time to view any of these impressive architecture, which will leave your Caribbean vacations unlike any other trip to the region. 

The Cathedral of Santa Maria, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The first cathedral in the Americas, this spectacular cathedral is named the Cathedral Metropolitana Santa María de la Encarnación. Originally built in 1514 as a hut for royals, the cathedral now takes up an entire block in the city. It is said that Diego Columbus set the first stone and since then many additions and changes have been made to the original structure. When you enter the cathedral you will feel a sudden calmness come over you, while you view the lovely interiors. It’s quiet, relaxing, and respectful ambiance make you look towards the heavens to notice the vaulted ceiling that resembles palm branches. There are many different chapels inside this large structure, as the outstanding stained glass allows the sunrays in. Walk to the mahogany alter to see the carved animals, the statues, and the high hammered silver alter. It is all so beautiful to see, as this is where Simón Bolívar sits in the Colonial City.

San Juan Cathedral, Puerto Rico

This gorgeous gothic cathedral was built in 1521, but its original structure was destroyed by a hurricane in 1526. Rebuilt in 1540, and even more, San Juan Cathedral sits merely steps away from San Jose Church on Cristo Street. San Juan Cathedral is one of the most religious landmarks in Puerto Rico, as this is resting place of Juan Ponce de León, the first Governor of Puerto Rico. The cathedral offers a fascinating tour, which includes view the remains of Ponce de León. Architecture buffs should not miss this gothic cathedral which is the oldest part of the building which boasts splendid archways. Mass is celebrated daily and the cathedral is opened from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m, free of cost.

St. John's Anglican Cathedral, Antigua

Completed in 1848, St. John's Anglican Cathedral is an extraordinary freestone cathedral, which serves as a reminder of Antigua's European roots. Built in neo-baroque style, the cathedral may seem weird to be on this Caribbean island. Featuring iron fence, stained glass windows, and two lofty towers with cupolas on top, this 70-feet structure is a distinctive symbol of the island. Stop by the cathedral and see the famed bronze statues the two St. Johns, (St. John the Baptist and the St. John who the temple was named for). The unique European look of this cathedral provides a relaxing ocean view from its interiors.

St. George's Anglican Cathedral, Guyana

St. George's Anglican Cathedral is one of the tallest wooden churches in the world, which was opened on 24 August 1892, but completed in 1899. It is located on Church Street in Georgetown, and has been designated a National Monument. St. George's Cathedral is characterized mainly by it gothic arches, clustered columns and flying buttresses. Step inside the cathedral for captivating peek into Guyana history. While inside view the lovely furnishings, chalices, memorial tablets or the Baptism registers which will tell you an amazing story. There is also a small Gothic shrine of carved oak in the northern aisle that commemorates the first Bishop of Barbados, who was responsible for British Guiana from 1826 to 1842. The decorative stained glass windows reflect myriad colours in the sunlight. These windows depict scenes from the Crucifixion and the Ascension, among others. The intricate ironwork depicts pictures of birds and flowers, while the choir seats are beautifully carved.

Chapel de Altagracia, Dominican Republic

A tribute of love, recognition and eternal memory, Chapel de Altagracia was originally built by Nicolas de Ovando in 1503 as a small stone chapel. But in the early 1920’s it was rebuilt in an Elizabethan Gothic style.  The wall of this church shares its borders with the ruins of the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, which run alongside the church. Within the walls of this gothic cathedral, you will see the remains of the original 1540’ brick Capilla de la Concepción and adorable décor that is strongly influenced by Arab and Spanish art. View these amazing arts include the Sun of Gold, a model of the star that announced Christ's birth, and a beautiful altar.

Gothic cathedrals in the Caribbean are a collection of breathtaking buildings to explore. They hold a symbol of the Christian faith, as they literally try to reach heaven.