"Fortaleza Ozama" Top 5 Page for this destination Fortaleza Ozama - Ozama Fortress Tip by alfredop

  Fortaleza Ozama
by alfredop
  • Fortaleza Ozama - Santo Domingo
      Fortaleza Ozama
    by alfredop
  • Fortaleza Ozama - Santo Domingo
      Fortaleza Ozama
    by alfredop

The large fortress of Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial, the oldest and original part of the city. Also called the Fortaleza de Santo Domingo, the fort is bordered by the Ozama River and the Calle de las Damas, the oldest and most historic road in the city. Dating from 1502, the fort is the oldest military complex in the Americas. The peaceful atmosphere is a marked contrast to what it was in its heyday, as from this strategic site Spain launched numerous expeditions to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the North American mainland.

This is where Trujillo (Rafael Trujillo, the dictator who brutally ruled the country from 1930 to 1961, when he was assassinated with CIA backing) used to keep prisoners. He killed lots of people. He was not democratic. He was friends with Baby Doc (neighbouring Haiti’s former dictator).

The fort also contains the Fuerte de Santiago (16th century) and the blocky powder house (18th century). The grounds are well maintained, and it is quite enjoyable to stroll about the walkways and lawns or relax on one of the benches. If you have the time, linger within the walls and stick around for the sunset.

The admission fee is less than a dollar, although you may be greeted by a tour guide who would like to give you a personal tour of the grounds for an additional fee. As usual, I like to tour a place solo if I can help it. Upon admission, you will get a little pamphlet (in Spanish only) with a nice site map and some historical information.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 14, 2006
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