National Pantheon (Panteón de la Patria) is near the corner of Las Damas and Las Mercedes in the Colonial Zone. Originally a Jesuit church completed in the 1740s, the building endured periods as a warehouse and a theater before it was converted to a mausoleum in 1956 for Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. Interred within its walls are the remains of many of the nation’s most illustrious political figures. A large bronze chandelier, a gift from Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, hangs beneath the domed ceiling.
Appropriate attire is required; persons in shorts are not admitted. Amiable freelance tour guides are eager to offer their services; it is wise to ask to see a government-issued identification card and to agree upon the guide's fee before taking a tour. Visitors should feel free to decline tours despite the insistence of overzealous guides; such tours are optional.