Just south of El Conde is the El Convento de los Dominicos (Av. Duarte at Padre Billini, services held 7–9 a.m. and 5:30–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., every hour 7 a.m.–noon and 7–8 p.m. Sun., free). It was built in 1510 and is the first convent of the Dominican order in the Americas. The outside of the building is an imposing structure, built of stone and brick with Spanish tile accents. Above the great wooden doors is a vine-like ornamentation leading up to the signature central round window at the top of the facade.
Pope Paul III visited in 1538, granting the title of university after being impressed by the theology and teachings of the church. Hence, it became the first university of the New World. It was here that Father Bartolomé de las Casas did much of his famous writing about the Spanish atrocities committed against the Taíno people.
Once inside the rosary chapel, don’t forget to look up. The unique ceiling depicts classical gods and astrological figures on a zodiac wheel.