Colonial City of Santo Domingo (1990)
Dominican Republic

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After Christopher Columbus's arrival on the island in 1492, Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. 

This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World. 

  • Dominican Republic 1928. Ruins of Columbus' Fortress.
Formerly known as Ciudad Trujillo, the city was founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus, and the city is the oldest European settlement extant in the New World. In 1930 it was heavily damaged by a hurricane but was subsequently rebuilt. In 1936 it was renamed Ciudad Trujillo for the Dominican President Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. 

It became Santo Domingo again in 1961 after the assassination of Trujillo and the subsequent fall of his regime. In 1965 the city was the scene of an uprising against the ruling government of the Dominican Republic. 

  • Dominican Republic 1933. President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. 

Dominican Republic 1933. President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.

Dominican Republic 1932. Tower of Homage, Ozama Fortress.

Located at the point where the Ozama River flows into the Caribbean, the city has a fine artificial harbor accessible to most commercial and passenger ships. 

It is connected by both ship and airlines with principal points in North and South America and is at the hub of a network of modern roads. Santo Domingo is a tourist, economic, and administrative center. 

  • Dominican Republic 1932. Tower of Homage, Ozama Fortress. 

Points of interest include the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor (built 1514-1520), believed to contain the remains of Christopher Columbus; the ruins of the palace of Columbus's brother Diego; 16th-century churches, such as San Nicolás and San Francisco; and the fortified walls of the original Spanish town. 

Dominican Republic 1931. Cathedral of Santo Domingo, the first church in America. Dominican Republic 1899. Columbus' Mausoleum.

Dominican Republic 1899. Columbus' Sarcophagus.

Dominican Republic 1902. Fort Santo Domingo.

Educational and cultural institutions include the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, dating from 1538 and said to be the oldest university in the Americas, and Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University, established in 1966. 

Sources and links: 

There are no other World Heritage Sites in the Dominican Republic. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section of the Dominican Republic, for further information about this property.  

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus
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