City Spotlight: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo

 


Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic and is the largest city with a population of around 965,040 people.

 

 

The city was founded in 1496 on the east bank of the Ozama River.  Found by the Italian explorer Bartholomew Columbus the younger brother of Christopher Columbus.

 

History

A hurricane took out the city in 1502.  It was later rebuilt on the west bank of the river where it is today by order of Governor Nicolás de Ovando.

Santo Domingo got its name from Saint Dominic the patron saint of astronomers.  However, in 1936 the city had a different name, Ciudad Trujillo.  Named after Dominican Republic’s dictator Rafael Trujillo.  As a result of his assassination, the name was changed back in 1961.

 

City of many Firsts

The city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.  Home to several firsts in the New World like the first cathedral (La Catedral Primada de América), monastery (Monasterio de San Francisco) and fortress (Fortaleza Ozama).  Santo Domingo is also home to the first castle Alcázar de Colón.  It was home to Christopher Columbus’s son Diego Colón.

 

 

The capital is the hub for everything going on in the country from the arts to the economy.   Due to the Caribbean location, the city has year-round high temperatures even in the winter.

 

 

After enjoying the beaches and the historic architecture you can watch a baseball game. Santo Domingo is home to two of the six teams in the Dominican Professional Baseball League.

Santo Domingo is a beautiful city with lots to see and do.  With historic architecture and beautiful beaches, it makes for a great place to practice your Spanish while soaking up the Caribbean sun.

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