The city of Santo Domingo is the very first colonial city in the New World. Because of its historical value, Unesco included the city in its World Heritage List in 1990. To learn more about the history and characteristics of this city, here is some more information.
Santo Domingo: the first colonial city in the New World
Santo Domingo was the first place in the ‘New World’ to be settled by European settlers, following the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Santo Domingo was the site of the very first cathedral, the first hospital and the first university in the New World. Santo Domingo marks the beginning of the expansion of European territory and the spread of European culture. Many conquistadors such as Hernàn Cortés, Alonso de Ojeda and others set out to conquer the New World from the port of Santo Domingo. It was the very first fortified colonial city in the New World.
Santo Domingo is recognised by UNESCO
The city of Santo Domingo, which is today the capital of the Dominican Republic, is historically considered the capital of the “New World”. Because of its symbolism and historical significance, in the 1990s UNESCO included the colonial city of Santo Domingo in its World Heritage List. The colonial city of Santo Domingo is protected by numerous laws. All the historical sites, the objects inherited from the colonial era, the works of art of the country, are protected by the Constitution of the Dominican Republic and are registered in the cultural heritage of the country. The maintenance, conservation and renovation projects related to all the monumental heritage of the city of Santo Domingo is managed by the Office of Cultural Heritage of the Dominican Republic.
The iconic landmarks of the colonial area of Santo Domingo
Most of the monuments, historical sites and cultural sites in the city of Santo Domingo were built during the colonial period. For example, there is the very first Cathedral of the New World: the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Incarnation, built in the 16th century by the European settlers. There is also the Ozama Fortress, built around 1500 to protect the city. The Alcazar de Colon is also a symbolic place in the colonial zone. It was the very first fortified palace in the New World. Finally, among the most respected places in the city is the Parque Independencia, a place that houses the remains of the country’s founding fathers.