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This is one of the most historic churches of Santo Domingo, although the staff overseeing it today aren't the city's brightest bulbs. It may or may not be open at the time of your visit. Constructed back in the 1530s, the Church of Our Lady of Mercy was once sacked by Sir Francis Drake and his "pirates." The building suffered major disasters in the wake of Drake, including hurricanes and earthquakes. Still standing, it is of interest today because of its mahogany altar carved in the shape of a demon serpent. The cloister adjacent to the church is more or less in its original condition. During the Haitian rule of the island, some 6,000 Africans were held here before being shipped off to Puerto Plata and Samaná.