Santo Domingo, the first colonial city of the New World

Published on : 30 May 20222 min reading time
With more than 2 million inhabitants, Santo Domingo is both the largest provincial city and the capital of the Dominican Republic. Located on the southern coast of the country, i.e. on the Caribbean Sea, Santo Domingo is home to many interesting tourist attractions. As a former colony, this New World city is still distinguished by the superb imperial architecture of its various monuments.

The rich history of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo was discovered by Christopher Columbus following his exploration of the New World. It was not until 1496 that the Spaniards, led by Columbus’ brother Bartolomeo, occupied the territory. Successive wars were waged in this colonial city, as the colonisers were all interested in the gold deposits found there.

Around 1500, the English took over the city, but their rule was short-lived. In the early 1800s, the French-dominated Santo Domingo and officially gave it its name, but it reverted to Spanish rule in 1809, until the Dominican Republic’s war of independence in 1844.

Why you should visit the colonial city of Santo Domingo

Being classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Santo Domingo has many historical monuments, with outstanding architecture, such as the famous house and tomb of Christopher Columbus, Santa Maria la Menor which is the first cathedral in the New World, and the Columbus Lighthouse, a mausoleum in his honour. You can also take part in group excursions to the ancient city of the New World, with specific tours such as that of the colonial zone, the Three Eyes archaeological site located in the east, the national aquarium and the city’s zoological park where you can admire the local species with the beaches overlooking the blue sea as well as very relaxing sunshine.

Touring the colonial city of Santo Domingo

Luxurious hotels in the region offer a warm welcome and great places to spend your time and enjoy the city’s gastronomic specialties, which are based on seafood, meats and vegetables. From a foreign country to Santo Domingo, you can reach this colonial New World city by air. While in Santo Domingo, you can take a taxi, bus, or moto-taxi to get around the city. However, exploring the main streets on foot is a unique experience to marvel at the charming city.

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