Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto Santo Domingo
KM 22 Autopista Las Americas
Phone: (809) 549-2525
Fax: (809) 549-2727
Designed by architect Joe Gleave, this monument to Christopher Columbus is a 46-meter tall cross, constructed of completely white marble. El Faro a Colón has housed the remains of the explorer since his tomb was moved from the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in 1992. At night, powerful lights illuminate this Christian symbol and project its shadow against the sky. Areas inside the monument are used as exhibition rooms, archives, a library and a museum.
The old Colonial buildings in Santo Domingo are various, but none is as impressive as The Tower of Homage, which is located at the very center of what used to be a military compound. The tower was built in 1503 and it is the oldest military tower constructed in the New World. For the most part, the tower served as a prison. Today it is simply a tourist attraction and a reminder of the way things once were.
One of the first time telling devices in North America, the Sundial of Santo Domingo sits on a rock pillar. It was built in 1753, and is primarily made of rocks, bits of metal and mortar. Used by the Spanish to maintain official time, this device was built by order of the town's governor, Francisco Rubio y Peñaranda. All parts of this device are stationery, which tells time accurately even today.
This building was the residence of Don Rodrigo de Bastidas, an illustrious Dominican who was the king's tax collector and mayor of the city. Located in the first street, built in the first city founded in the New World and occupying an area of some 32,000 square feet, it is built in long narrow sections, arranged in a rectangle around a central patio which is one of its most attractive features. The main entrance forms part of the outside Fortress wall. Currently La Casa de Bastidas houses an art gallery.
This chapel was built in colonial times by Francisco Davila to house the remains of his family. In 1853, it was damaged by lightning and was rebuilt in 1882. In 1930 the St. Xenon hurricane damaged it again, and it stayed that way until it was rebuilt in 1970. The structure houses a small temple in the shape of a cross, with its southern wing missing. Inside, it is decorated in mudejar style (architectural style developed by the Muslims who lived in the territory reconquered by the Christians in Spain during the Middle Ages) featuring a vaulted brick ceiling. Its façade is characterized by a tall bell tower, also of brick. At the bottom there is an empty niche which used to contain the Dávila coat of arms.
El Callejón is a path that leads to the cloisters of the Cathedral. At its entrance, this picturesque lane has a large door decorated with sculptures by the Dominican Rotellini who based them on the misericordias of the chairs of the cathedral's old central chancel. Walking down the lane one also sees the old Casa de España (House of Spain), today home to the Dominican College of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors. The Callejón de los Curas is one of the most well-preserved colonial areas of Santo Domingo.
This Jesuit church, dating back to the 18th Century, was designated the National Mausoleum in 1956 and three years later, it was remodeled and adapted to serve this purpose. Since then, the remains of famous Dominicans have been brought here. The church's construction is composed of three distinct naves. The central nave is the widest and is covered by a vaulted ceiling covered with a mural. The side naves are built like small chapels, each with a beautiful domed roof. Hanging from the central vault is a lamp which was given to the church by the Spanish head of state, Francisco Franco.
This gateway was built by Alejandro de Fuenmayor in 1540. The side that faced the river had an arch which sported three coats of arms at the top: that of Spain was in the center, that of the island was on the right and that of the city was on the left. The food sold in the Old Market and the Plaza of the Vegetables was brought into the city through this gate. San Diego Fort was located just outside the gate. The fort was torn down to enlarge the dock in 1886 although part of the structure was reconstructed recently with the creation of the Avenida del Puerto.
Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, or Catedral Primada de América, is the most important monument in Santo Domingo. It was constructed from 1514 to 1546 and includes Romanesque characteristics and the main facade was built out of coral rock. The chapels were built later than the main temple, and until 1992 one chapel housed the remains of Christopher Columbus. Visit and enjoy the beauty of the late Gothic architecture.
Statue of Columbus is a historic statue located in the famous Parque Colón. The park is quite popular and is frequented by many locals who come here to unwind or catch up with friends and loved ones. Built by sculptor Ernesto Gilbert, the statue is known to be the oldest in the city and a gift from France. It certainly enhances the rich local history.
This interesting historical building was built in the 1520s. The palace was primarily constructed in Italian Renaissance style with some Gothic details. The main entrance, however, was designed in the Isabeline style. The building comprises two rectangular floors, two wings joined by a central corridor and two galleries. In 1770 the building was abandoned. Attempts were made to turn it into a prison, but none were successful. In 1809 and 1835, parts of the building collapsed due to major landslides, but in 1957 it was restored to its present condition, where visitors can now come admire and soak in the intense historical atmosphere.
Just a short walk from the Alcazar de Colon are the dockyards, or Las Atarazanas. In the 16th century this set of buildings was the New World's first commercial industry. The stone buildings were linked together by inner courtyards. During their bloom they were the epitome of colonial architecture. Today, the buildings are still used for commercial purposes, they have been transformed into art galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants.