Do you like dominican republic
The oldest European-built city in the New World - Welcome to Santo Domingo.
Today we're doing a little history class here. No, there is no complaint now. Sit down, take out the notebooks, watch out!
Hand on heart: who knew that when Christopher Columbus discovered America over 500 years ago, he ended up in the Dominican Republic?
I did not know it. I just never asked myself that question. I knew that he discovered America in 1492, that his original plan was to sail to India and that because of this he called the Native Americans Indians, that he was going with three ships - Santa Maria, Niña and Pinta - sailed from Spain across the Atlantic, and so on and so forth ... I knew all that. But hello!
What I actually didn't know - The Dominican Republic was his point of contact with New world.
In December 1492, the Santa Maria ran on a sandbank off Hispaniola, the island that is now the states of Haiti and Dominican Republic. The first and therefore oldest city built by Europeans - Santo Domingo on - was built there in 1498 Ozama (Flow).
Our day trip to Santo Domingo
From Punta Cana we drove almost 2.5 hours with a small bus, other tourists and a very nice, talkative and funny guide named Samuel to the capital of the Dominican Republic.
First stop - just for the photo: the lighthouse (Faro a Colón), a monument in honor of Christopher Columbus. Terrible colossus, just plain ugly. Quickly one or two snapshots with and without family and then it went on. As you can see it had rained shortly before.
We entered the old town of Santo Domingo through one of the main entrances of the old colonial city Puerta de las Reales Atarazanas.
... to immediately take a look at the Calle de Las Damas to throw. This street is the oldest cobbled street in the New World. It was so named because the fine ladies of society strolled there during colonial times.
Alcazar de Colón
Imagine you are now where I was when I took the picture shown above. Then you turn around and you can see the imposing building Alcazar de Colón (see below) on the Plaza de la Hispanidad. This palace was built by Christopher Columbus' son Diego. So, he had it built. Naturally.
Here was the seat of the Spanish colonial government. And here our tour started. Our guide Samuel distributed headphones for everyone and led us through the palace and then through the city.
By the way, Christopher Columbus traveled four or five times to the Dominican Republic on behalf of the Castilian crown. But he never settled there.
I would like to tell you what kind of historical document this is that has some very important people on it - kings? Knight? The pope? - have signed ... but I just forgot. I can't find anything about it on the internet either. So let's just move on. Tacitly. Or can someone help me out here?
Museo de las Casas Reales
From Alcazar de Colón it went on to Museo de las Casas Reales. Originally this was the Royal Audience and the Governor's Palace, now it is a museum. There the history of the Dominican Republic between 1492 and 1821 is shown and told.
Samuel showed us around and explained the most important exhibits. Very convenient. Photos are only available from the beautiful inner courtyard. I don't want to overuse the history class. I also find palm trees and other Caribbean plants clearly more beautiful than terrible tools with which slaves were mistreated at the time.
Panteón de la Patria
Just a few meters further, we were still walking on the Calle de Las Damas along, that lies Panteón de la Patria. Today it is a mausoleum where national figures are buried. It used to be a Jesuit church, a theater and a tobacco warehouse.
Our last stop of the day was the - attention, please repeat it out loud once: Basílica Catedral Metropolitana Santa María de la Anunciación Catedral Primada de América - in short, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. Jeez, if you don't speak Spanish, it all sounds very Spanish.
In any case, Samuel also showed us through the rooms and chapels and explained and told us. That was really great - if we had been there without a guide, then - and I honestly admit this - I would not have looked at every statue and ceiling fresco in such detail.
Then there was lunch in a really great restaurant. But I'll show you in a separate article, even more pictures would blow the blog post here. (Edit: the restaurant article is online! Here I take you to the Buche de Perico)
After lunch we had free time to stroll around Santo Domingo. Whereby - strolling? Uh no. On the one hand that was way too hot for us and on the other: Santo Domingo is not a really beautiful city. Sorry, but that's the way it is. At least not the old town and the pedestrian zone ...
Calle El Conde pedestrian street
The Calle El Conde is - no, supposed to be a popular pedestrian zone in the city. Samuel had met with us at the end of the street, on Parque Independencia agreed to meet and suggested that we stroll down this street.
Unfortunately, many shops were closed; those who had opened were selling tourist items. The street stretches for 10 blocks, at some corners there are cafes and restaurants and many artists offering their paintings.
Anyway - after a few hours of sightseeing we were exhausted anyway and were looking forward to the air-conditioned bus. That's why we marched quickly through them Calle El Conde to end up waiting for the bus under a big tree.
We then took the bus out of the old town through the somewhat newer Santo Domingo. I would have loved to jump out and take more photos. Most of the houses there are bright and colorful and very different from the rather dreary old town. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a photo out of the bus either, the windows were tinted.
We also drove on Presidencia de la República Dominicana (National Palace - or "Yellow House"), where the President of the Dom Rep works but does not live and from there out of the city, across the island to the other side back to Punta Cana.
It was exciting, thrilling and sometimes extremely interesting. Especially that Museo de las Casas Reales I think it's absolutely worth seeing.
Have you ever been to Santo Domingo? And were you aware that this was actually the very first city built by Europeans in the New World?
I wish you a nice Sunday!
Kind regards, Bine
Bine | what own
thought, typed, cooked, baked, read, desired, wanted and photographed by Bine. Nice that you're here! Thanks for reading & commenting!
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