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Santo Domingo

Culture of Santo Domingo. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

The city of Santo Domingo is a perfect destination for those tourists giving preference to different excursions and exploration of historical sites. The city was established in 1496. Its area has preserved numerous buildings and constructions of colonial epoch. Many of the buildings preserved are the landmarks of global significance. The historical district of the capital presents more than three hundreds of cultural sites among which tourists will discover ancient houses, streets, squares and churches. The Puerta del Conde monument is a symbol of the city being a remaining part of the colonial wall.
The famous voyage of Christopher Columbus was marked by the arrival of his ship at the shores of the New World. It is the land of Santo Domingo that keeps the memory and centuries-old … Open
Close to the landmark tourists will find an eternal fire and the Altar de la Partia being a mausoleum keeping the remains of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. This is exactly the place where the independence of the country was announced and the colonial oppression was dethroned. Another remarkable architectural landmark is the building of the Casa del Tostado which is now housing a family museum. For many years the impressive building has been used as the archbishop residence. Not far from this landmark tourists will discover a great architectural complex named the Atarazana. The complex comprises eight buildings the construction of which was finished in the 16th century. Recently the majestic buildings of colonial era have survived a great reconstruction. Today these buildings house museums, various art galleries as well as several popular restaurants and gift shops.
The oldest street of the capital is the Calle Las Damas a hiking tour through which will turn to an exciting unforgettable adventure. Tourists will find wonderful buildings of colonial era at every turn. Each of the buildings located in the street has its own unique history. The most remarkable constructions of the street are considered to be the Ozama Fortress and the Columbus house which are today open for public. The Columbus house was built by a son of an admiral. The construction presents a luxurious two-storey palace. Recently the palace was transformed into a museum and today it presents its visitors an engaging collection of antique furniture and religious artifacts. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Modern culinary traditions of Santo Domingo present a unique fusion of African and European cuisines’ trends and cooking technologies. Local restaurants offer as traditional European … Open
Considering remarkable religious monuments and sites of the destination the Cathedral of Santa Maria is best worth mentioning and visiting. The Cathedral was established in 1510. Today the Cathedral is the oldest one among the religious landmarks of the kind located on the territory of the United States of America. A modern part of the city presents plenty of engaging remarkable sites and objects of tourist interest. In the heart of the city tourists will discover the Plaza de la Cultura which forms a complex with the National Palace a single complex. Not far from the city center tourists will find another interesting place to visit which is the Museum of the Casas Reales which collection is devoted to the greatest discoveries of Christopher Columbus.
Colonial architecture connoisseurs will appreciate the beautiful neighborhood of Zona Colonial – it was precisely here that the first New World settlement was located. While walking through the streets, tourists can discover the city’s most interesting sights at every step. These are, for example, Alcázar de Don Diego Colón’s royal palace, Panteón de la Patria, as well as the already existing palace Catedral de Santa María la Menor. A few words should be said about some of the most remarkable buildings that every tourist should not fail to visit. The town’s symbol is the Ceiba de Colón tree, planted in the same place where Christopher Columbus moored the “Santa Maria”. The current tree is the second in a row – the first one fell over time, having split. Many stories are connected with it, including mythical ones and you should definitely listen to them from the lips of guides or locals.
Many tourists aim to visit the resort city of Santo Domingo in late February as exactly in this period the city holds scale and the most interesting ethnic holiday being the Carnival. The … Open
The La Puerta del Conde arch built in 1543, is remarkable because the Dominican Republic flag was first hoisted here. It happened on 27th February 1844 and is now traditionally celebrated as the Day of Independence. The gate is part of the fort El Baluarte del Conde, which has served for centuries as a fortification against pirate and enemy attacks. The bastion is a beautiful Italian fortification monument, popular in that era. The Panteón de la Patria was originally built as a church (constructed in the year 1746) and later a theater and a tobacco warehouse were located here. Today, prominent Dominican Republic figures are buried in the beautiful example of neoclassicism.
Catedral Primada de América The residence of Alcázar de Don Diego Colón was built in 1512 for Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus (in local pronunciation – Colón). The palace played an important strategic role in the 16th century, but with the building seized by the famous pirate Francis Drake in 1586, the palace gradually became a cavity abandoned in the mid-17th century. The building was restored and reconstructed in the 1950s according to Javier Barroso’s project. Today, a collection of artworks from the 15th-17th centuries can be found inside the palace. The Casa de La Moneda building, built in the early 16th century, was previously used to mint coins. However, today the site will be of interest to numismatists, for whom the Dominican coin collection is situated inside.
After the exploration tour though the historical landmarks tourists will love to visit local entertainment establishments which will stun foreign guests with various programs and original … Open
Other museums in the Colonial Zone include the Museo del Tabaco (Tobacco Museum), which tells the story of the Dominican Republic’s tobacco industry, and the Museo de la Porcelana, which houses a magnificent collection of beautiful porcelain art. Remarkable works from amber can be found in the cultural center Museo de Ambar. Also worth a visit is the house of La Casa de Tostado – another masterpiece of Spanish colonial architecture, built at the beginning of Espanyola’s colonial history. The Fuerte de San Lázaro Monument and the Cultural Center Quinta Dominica are interesting in the area. They often host interesting concerts and thematic events. This is one of the best places to relax due to its picturesque courtyard and beautiful gardens.
Paramotoring over Santo Domingo The Palacio Consistorial Palace is today the city hall and is famous for its charming 29-meter clock tower. The building was erected in 1504 and reconstructed in the 19th century when it acquired its current neoclassical appearance. You can discover a wonderful example of modern in Zona Colonial, built in 1929. We are talking about the Edificio Diez building, the architect of the project is Benigno Trueba. Palacio de Bellas Artes, inside of which you can find an exhibition hall where temporary exhibitions are held, is no less striking for its magnificent architecture. The building was constructed in 1956 by decree of Rafael Trujillo to promote Dominican art. At that time, it was possible to find a theater, a philharmonic, and a school of theatrical and visual arts inside.
1. Tourists arriving at the Las Americas airport may opt for taxi booking service. A taxi car can be ordered in advance prior to the flight. A cost of a service will be about 35USD. A trip … Open
Those who love to see ruins will also find walking through the Dominican capital’s streets interesting. The first one that deserves to be mentioned is the Monastery of San Francisco, which was captured and pillaged by Francis Drake, as well as the Palace of Viceroys. The church was built in 1508 as the first monastery in the New World, according to Nicolas de Ovando’s project. Although the building was reconstructed after being plundered by a pirate and after two earthquakes (in 1673 and 1751), and after the hurricane in 1930, it finally became a ruin. It was home to a psychiatric hospital from 1880 to 1930. The Ruinas de Engombe complex, where the first New World sugar factory used to be located also deserves to be visited. Today we can see the ruins of a church, a palace, slave rooms, and a mill, all damaged by the same storm.
Puerta del Conde A beautiful place of interest in Dominica’s capital is the monument built in honor of America’s discoverer – Faro A Colon. It was built in 1986 according to Joseph Lee Gleeve’s project, who designed it back in 1931 – but then his plans were not to be implemented. The monument was unveiled in 1992, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. The light rays on the monumental structure form a cruciform shape, but they are so powerful that they are visible from Puerto Rico. Inside is situated a museum with a collection of jewelry and objects related to the discovery of the New World.
The famous voyage of Christopher Columbus was marked by the arrival of his ship at the shores of the New World. It is the land of Santo Domingo that keeps the memory and centuries-old … Open
A visit to the ChocoMuseo Cultural Center is a must on the Santo Domingo sightseeing tour – as the name suggests, visitors will have a lively journey into the world of chocolate and, of course, no excursion is complete without tasting local sweets. Other “gastronomic” museums include Museo del Ron, where you can learn about Dominican Republic’s rum production. Those who want to learn more about the history of the country should visit the Museo Memorial de la Resistencia, while those interested in zoology and biology should explore the collection of the cultural center Museo Nacional de Historia Natural. The theaters of the Teatro Nacional and the Centro Cultural de Espana are ideal for a cultural experience with beautiful theater productions.
1st Western Church in New World The real beautification of Santo Domingo is the coastal park Parque Malecón, one of the city’s most romantic spots. For beauty connoisseurs, several other attractions of the Dominican capital are worth mentioning. Among them, there is the amazing “Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso”, with amazing landscape ideas. Those who cannot live without hiking will love the Parque Nacional Los Tres Ojos with its grottoes, lush vegetation, and beautiful sculptures. The place is likewise prominent in light of the fact that the local species resemble a fairytale world and lead tourists away from reality. Another beautiful park in the city is Parque Iberoamerica, the most popular place during the Christmas season (it is precisely at this time that the park plays with its magnificent bright neon colors).
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Santo Domingo and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Santo Domingo and surroundings

Santo Domingo - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6
Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Santo Domingo and around
♥   Art museum 'Museo Bellapart' Santo Domingo, 3.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Santo Domingo
♥   Catedral San Pedro Apóstol, San Pedro de Macorís, 62.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Iconic cultural sights of Dominican Republic

The Columbus Lighthouse in the eastern part of Santo Domingo attracts an endless number of tourists. It's not just a burial place of Christopher Columbus himself built on the site of the first lighthouse but also the subject of endless disputes. So far, it is a mystery whether or not a person resting in the tomb of this monument is Columbus. The construction of the colossal building was completed by 1992, and the body of Columbus who died in 1506 completed its five-hundred-year journey here. In addition to the discoverer of America's tomb, the building has halls with symbols of countries that participated in the construction of the Lighthouse. In the dark, sometimes you can see the cross-shaped beacon light in the sky. The building itself is made in this shape, if you look at it from above. … Open
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Santo Domingo

Photogallery of cultural heritage of Santo Domingo

Landmarks of culture on Santo Domingo map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Santo Domingo

Culture guide to Santo Domingo. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Santo Domingo: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Santo Domingo. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info!
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