Porta Coeli

Uploaded 13 Apr 2013
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© Carlos Aviles
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Porta Coeli ("Gateway to Heaven") Convent church, or El Convento de Santo Domingo de Porta Coeli in Spanish, is one of the oldest church structures in the western hemisphere located in San Germán, Puerto Rico.
In 1609, the Dominican Order built the Convento de Porta Coeli at the crest of a hill in what is now San Germán Historic District. During the 18th century the Convento was reconstructed and a church built next to it. The single nave church was constructed of rubble masonry with stucco surfaced walls and a wood truss roof.

In 1949 Ubaldino Ramírez de Arellano, Monseñor Mac Manus, Bishop of Ponce, Senator Santiago R. Palmer and others achieved that for a dollar the church of Porta Coeli in San German be sold to the Government of Puerto Rico so that it be responsible for its safekeeping and preservation.

It was restored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and now houses the Museo de Arte Religioso, a museum of religious paintings and wooden carvings dating back from the 18th and 19th centuries. It was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as "Convento de Porta Coeli" in 1976.

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