"Santo Domingo" Top 5 Page for this destination Santo Domingo by alfredop

Santo Domingo Travel Guide: 415 reviews and 893 photos

Santo Domingo - The beginning of the end

Santo Domingo was the first European city in the Americas — an important base for dozens of Spanish explorers, with Hernán Cortés leaving here to launch his attack on Mexico, and Diego de Velázquez setting out to settle Cuba.

The Colonial City is the perfect starting point for visitors to discover Santo Domingo. Here, between Independence Park and the Ozama River, you will find the first city built in the New World by European settlers, including Columbus's brother, Bartholomeo, and his son, Diego Columbus.

The first street in the Americas is Calle de Las Damas, the site of numerous historic buildings including the Ozama Fortress, the oldest fortress in the Americas. There is also the house of Nicolás de Ovando, governor of Santo Domingo in the early 1500's and a ruthless warrior against the Taino Indians.

Of great historical interest is the Museo de las Casas Reales(Museum of the Royal Houses), the restored 16th century palace of the Spanish Court, which features a wonderful glimpse of the past. Nearby is the Alcázar de Colón (Castle of Columbus) built by Diego Columbus and his wife Maria de Toledo, niece of the Spanish King Ferdinand.

A few streets over in the center of the walled city, visitors will find the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Menor, pronounced the first cathedral in the New World by Pope Paul III in 1542. While touring the colonial city, visitors can learn all about amber, the stone made even more famous by Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park film. The Amber Museum on Calle Arz. Meriño features exceptional educational exhibits of this semi-precious jewel.

  • Last visit to Santo Domingo: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated May 14, 2006
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Reviews (17)

Comments (6)

  • bpolt's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    re your review of Pato e'Palo restaurant, 2006. The very SAME review appears in Frommer's Caribbean 2008, p 304. Seems to me that one or the other of you should have given credit to the source!

  • ValbyDK's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2008 at 5:38 AM

    Hi Alfredo. You have a great Santo Domingo page (and other DomRep pages). Greetings from Denmark / Klaus

  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2008 at 6:39 AM

    Great page about my hometown! Greetings.

  • damaris05's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2004 at 9:08 AM

    I'm interested in this house. Is this in Santo Domingo? I will be visiting Santo Domingo on a Mission Trip in about 3 weeks and I'd like to learn as much as I can about it before I leave.

  • quartinb's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2004 at 9:40 AM

    mui guapa pg...

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2003 at 10:37 AM

    Nice pages... looks like a nice place to visit...?


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