COLONIAL ZONE, SANTO DOMINGO

Founded by Bartolomé Colón in 1496, the city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, was built almost completely during the 16th century.

Initially located in the eastern part of the Ozama River, it was the first city built by the Spaniards in the Americas. However, in 1502 it passed to the western part of the river under the orders of Nicolás de Ovando, governor of Hispaniola for those years, thus founding the new city of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Sometime later, in 1507, the city obtained the royal statute of being the first European city located in the New World.

In 1990, UNESCO declared it a world heritage site and today it is one of the most emblematic historical centers of the Caribbean.
Walking through the beautiful streets of the colonial zone you will discover buildings from the early 1500s, such as the Alcazar de Colón, the Primada cathedral or the Ozama fortress, among many others.

An interesting tour of the area can be done by accessing the El Conde door that gives access to the pedestrian street of the same name, located in front of the Independencia Park, and that crosses the entire area until reaching the Ozama River. Along the shore, you will find a wide variety of colonial buildings that attest to the emergence of the city and how from them, the built space was expanded inland. Of course, you can access all these interesting constructions upon payment of the corresponding entry.

This initial route, which ends in the Plaza España, allows you to know the first points of interest of the Colonial City. Places such as the Colón park, the Ozama Fortress, the cathedral, the National Pantheon or the Alcazar de Colón, stand before you as you go along this historic passage.

The second door that protects the Colonial Zone is known as Puerta de la Misericordia or Puerta Grande, located on Palo Hincado Street. Belonging to the late sixteenth century, early seventeenth, the door is located in the walls that were built in the sixteenth century to protect the city.

The name is received from a small chapel built-in 1842 in the wake of the tremors that ravaged the area at that time, and where people approached to ask for mercy and to end the damage caused to their fields and homes. Like that of El Conde, this door was also the scene of the country’s independence proclamation.

Finally, El Conde is not only one of the most traditional roads on the island, but it is also the only pedestrian street in Santo Domingo. The name was inherited from the count of Peñalba, who in 1655 prevented the English from invading the city.