Colonial City of Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic

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After Christopher Columbus’s arrival on the island in 1492, Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World.In 1990, listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Location

Colonial City or Ciudad Colonial of Santo Domingo is located on the west bank of the Ozama River, which bisects the city. It covers less than 5 square kilometers.

About Colonial City of Santo Domingo

  • The Colonial City of Santo Domingo, surrounded by its walls, has preserved, almost unaltered, the extension of its territory, its grid layout and most of its architectural monumental structures.
  • In the Colonial City there are different places built by the Spaniards during the colonial era, which together form more than 300 historical sites in the area; these include various monuments of cultural and historical character, as well as houses of great figures of the society of that time, but it can not fail to mention important streets, such as the Las Damas street.
  • The central public space of the district is Parque Colon, a square that borders the 16th- century Cathedral and has a late-19th-century bronze statue of Christopher Columbus in its center. East of Parque Colón, the cobblestone Calle Las Damas is the New World’s oldest paved street, dating from 1502.
  • Calle del Conde is a pedestrian-only street that includes several notable commercial buildings of the early 20th century and connects Parque Colon with the Puerta del Conde and Parque Independencia.
  • Another traditional commercial district is the portion of Avenida Duarte just north of the Zona Colonial, which is currently undergoing a renovation plan that aims to make the area more appealing to tourists.
  • On the north end of Calle Las Damas, the restored and expanded Plaza de España is bordered by Las Atarazanas (former naval yard, now a museum) and a number of small shops and restaurants. This area was one of the first Commercial centers in the Americas, and is still a hub of
    activity today.
  • The Ciudad Colonial is now the main tourist attraction of Santo Domingo, even though the main sites of governmental and commercial activity are now in other parts of the city.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Santo Domingo is between November and March. That’s when this city experiences its best beach weather, even if there aren’t many great beaches to enjoy it on. April to July is also a pleasant time to visit, but you should avoid this area at all costs during the hurricane season, which runs from August to October.

About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. It’s known for its beaches, resorts and golfing. Its terrain comprises rainforest, Savannah and highlands, including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Capital city Santo Domingo has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

One of the best spots in the Colonial District of Santo Domingo to shop is the several blocks long outdoor mall, El Conde Street. It offers everything from street vendors (it is not recommended to eat off these) to knock-off name brand clothing for extremely inexpensive prices. There are some very pleasant outdoor restaurants that serve as perfect spots to people watch and drink Presidente (their most popular beer).

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