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When this structure was built in 1747, it was a church for the Jesuits. Later it was a warehouse and then a theater before the dictator Rafael Trujillo seized it in the days when Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo. No doubt dreaming of imperial glory, he wanted to make the building a shrine to some of the country's most illustrious citizens, including perhaps a memorial to himself. He did not succeed in his dream. Instead of a monument honoring Trujillo, you get a chapel preserving the ashes of the martyrs of June 14, 1959, who tried in vain to overthrow the dreaded tyrant. In addition, the ashes or remains of many of the nation's most illustrious personages are enshrined here. Trujillo had bodies reinterred. Some figures ended up buried next to their political enemies, as was the case with Pedro Santana, the 19th-century dictator, who rests -- perhaps not so peacefully -- with a string of authoritarian leaders who fought bitterly to overthrow each other as el presidente. The Spanish dictator, Franco, donated the mammoth central chandelier. Many of the metal crosses, or so the rumor mill has it, were once Nazi swastikas. The rather sterile structure is constructed of mammoth limestone blocks behind a neoclassical facade, its entrance constantly guarded by an armed soldier.