Touring Santo Domingo’s Colonial City: The First City of America
You’ve been to Punta Cana countless times. The staff at Grand Punta Cana greets you by name, you are familiar with more than a few faces around, and know where to go for an awesome night in town. Give your next visit to Dominican Republic a new twist and enjoy a day walking around Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, the first city founded in America.
The Colonial City of Santo Domingo, located on the southern coast of the island of Hispaniola by the Ozama River, features a wide variety of historical museums, monuments and colonial houses. Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Santo Domingo’s Colonial City was the headquarters for the first institutions in the Americas, and has exercised a strong influence on the development of the cities of the Caribbean and the American continent.
Oh, the Places You’ll Visit!
Embarking on a day tour to the Colonial City means visiting some of the first edifications of the New World. A city bordered by walls, bastions and forts, with 32 streets with constructions of one or two levels with stone, brick or earthen walls will give you a taste of the magic, history and romance of this city.
Here are a few of the places you’ll visit.
Cathedral of Santa María la Menor
Dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation, the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It has the honorary title of “Primate of the Americas” because Santo Domingo was the first Catholic diocese established in the New World.
Alcazar de Colón
The Alcazar de Colón is the oldest Vice regal residence in America, which houses the Alcazar de Diego Colón Museum. Its collections exhibit the Caribbean’s most important ensemble of European late medieval and Renaissance works of art.
Museo de las Casas Reales
The Museum of Royal Houses is one of the most important monuments in Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. The building dates back to the sixteenth century, and was built to house the administrative offices of the Spanish colonies in the Americas
Las Damas Street
East of Parque Colón, the cobblestone Calle Las Damas is the New World’s oldest paved street, dating from 1502. The street is bordered by many of the zone’s more prominent landmarks, including Fortaleza Ozama, Casa de Bastidas and the National Pantheon of the Dominican Republic.
Your day won’t be complete until you’ve had a plate of hearty Dominican food. Traditional lunch consists in rice, beans and meat, and it’s called “La Bandera”, The Flag. Have yours with a side of friend plantains and a cold beer, and you’re in for a delicious treat!