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Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic, a tropical nation occupying half of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. Its balmy, tropical climate and European streets make for pleasant, relaxed strolls. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, one can expect Santo Domingo to be chock-full of sights and sounds. Indeed, the city is a bustling hive of activity with lots to see and do. Here are 5 must-see attractions when visiting Santo Domingo:
Gazcue is one of the sectors in Santo Domingo’s picturesque Colonial District. In this area, you will be able to experience the city’s colonial European past, well preserved in form of European-style buildings and layouts. The area also offers an insight into Santo Domingo’s past, as a showcase of architecture from the 1950s. Additionally, being only a pleasant walk away from the beach, Gazcue offers a laid-back vibe that is a welcome contrast to the more built-up areas of the city.
This majestic monument was inaugurated in 1992, as tribute to explorer Christopher Columbus. His remains are purportedly contained within the memorial. While the 70-million dollar building looks nothing like a lighthouse, the beams of light it projects are powerful enough to be seen from nearby Puerto Rico. The monument was constructed in time for the 500th anniversary of the Discovery of the Americas, and its construction received overwhelming support from many American nations.
This highly rated private art museum showcases a collection of art dating from the mid-19th century to the 1960s. For art lovers, this museum is a great primer to Dominican art and artists, as the collection features works by prominent Dominican artists. It is located on the 5th floor of the Honda Building, which may be misleading to some.
Alcázar de Colón
One of the most-visited tourist attractions in Santo Domingo, the Alcázar de Colón has a history going back to 1510. It was originally the residence of Diego Columbus, governor of the colony and Christopher Columbus’s son, and is the oldest semi-royal residence in the New World. For more than half a century, the Alcázar de Colón served as the headquarters of the Spanish Court in the New World, and functioned as a base for the Spanish conquests of many countries in the Americas. Today, the Alcázar de Colón remains well preserved, and is a stunning example of the Spanish Colonial style. Visitors may also enjoy the museum housed within the premises that showcases how life was like during the Colonial period.
Fans of military architecture will appreciate the Ozama Fort, situated on a hill with a pleasant view of the Ozama River. With more than 500 years of history behind it, the fort is a wonderful example of Colonial architecture. While it no longer defends Santo Domingo from foreign invasion, the Fortaleza Ozama nevertheless continues to offer tourists a magnificent vantage point from which to admire the surrounding scenery.
Have you visited any of these five interesting attractions in Santo Domingo? If you have, do share your experiences with us!
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