Santo Domingo’s Colonial City

When one thinks of the Dominican Republic, what comes to the mind of most tourists can be summed up in one word: beach. However, beyond its renowned coasts, this country has a dynamic capital with plenty to offer to its visitors.

Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, is considered the most populous metropolitan area in the entire Caribbean. But before going into the details of its present time, let’s start by assuming as a starting point a synthesized analysis of its historical relevance, because this is the first permanent European settlement of the “New World”. In fact, Santo Domingo was the only one that existed until the 15th century in all that is known today as “the Americas”.

It is therefore not surprising that it was precisely this city, founded by Bartolomé Colón in 1498, that served as the starting point for the European conquest of the continent, since it was from its port that many expeditions left in search of new lands, led by conquerors such as Ponce de León, Juan de Esquivel, Hernán Cortés and Vasco Núñez de Balboa, among others.

It is for this very reason that the most popular tourist destination in Santo Domingo is the “Colonial City”. This historic complex was built in the 15th century and is also known as the ‘Colonial Zone’ or “The Zone”. Since 1990 it was catalogued as “World Heritage” by UNESCO under multiple grounds, being one of them that this “was the city of the ‘first’, home to the first institutions of the Americas: cathedral, monastery, university, hospital, trading house, fortified city and customs of the American continent”.

The protected space, declared of historical and cultural relevance is made up of 32 streets that intersect the 116 blocks, made up of one or two levels constructions and with wall materials such as stone, brick and soil. What makes it special? That it has preserved its integrity and authenticity, since its monumental heritage and buildings maintain the essence of the structure, use and functions of the time of its foundation have remained almost completely intact the original plan, the scale of the streets and the buildings.

This is one of those places where you will have much to discover because history is written between its alleys and walls, because it is undeniable that the past is hidden between the coordinates of the Colonial City.

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