Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, is "where the rhythms of the country are on superdrive, where the sounds of life—domino pieces slapped on tables, backfiring mufflers and horns from chaotic traffic, merengue and bachata blasting from corner colmados—are most intense. Santo Domingo (population 2.9 million), or ‘La Capital’ as it’s typically called, is to Dominicans what New York is to Americans, a collage of cultures and neighborhoods, or what Havana is to Cubans, a vibrant beating heart that fuels the entire country.

"At the heart of the city is the Zona Colonial. And at the heart of the Zona Colonial is Parque Colón. And across from the park is one of the oldest churches in the New World. And a block from the church is one of the oldest streets in the New World. And on this street is the oldest surviving European fortress. And so on and so on. Amid the cobblestone streets reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans, it would be easy to forget Santo Domingo is in the Caribbean—if it weren’t for the heat and humidity.

"But this is an intensely urban city, home not only to colonial-era relics and New World firsts, but also to hot clubs packed with trendy 20-somethings; museums and cultural institutions, the best of their kind in the DR; and businesspeople taking long lunches at elegant restaurants. Santo Domingo somehow manages to embody the contradictions central to the Dominican experience: a living museum, a metropolis crossed with a seaside resort, and a business, political and media center with a laid-back casual spirit."      [—From Lonely Planet, Dominican Republic]

Catedral Primada de America

Interior (1, 2)

Main altar (closeup)

Parque Colón (1, 2, 3)

Main entrance on the other side

Late evening view

Many theories about where
he is pointing (1, 2, 3)

Some say pigeons are
doing justice to him

From the other side,
behind the main plaza

Back on the main plaza,
Parque Colón

Tourist musicians

Last night in Santo Domingo

Painted performers (1, 2)

Inspired by a festival (1, 2)

Feeding pigeons (more)

American evangelists in town

Panteon National

Heroes honored here (more)

Formerly Jesuit church, tobacco warehouse, and a theater

A building next to Panteon
National, on Calle las Damas

Shady tree on the plaza

Street behind the church

Art for sale on the streets
of Zona Colonial

Three kids (1, 2)

Couple hanging out

Clown with balloons

Local musicians


Zona Colonial street

Roadside game

Group shot

Just married

Hipsters (more)

Lady in red posing

Most likely a tourist

Calle El Conde

Election rally for Papa

Nickname for Hipolito Mejia

Blaring loudspeakers

Supporters of Papa

About an hour long rally

Roadside game

Roadside game


Colonial facade

Zona Colonial street

Zona Colonial street

Zona Colonial street

Fortaleza Ozama, dates
from 1502 (more, info)

"Oldest colonial military edifice in the New World" (1, 2, 3)

Torre del Homenage and the ramparts (1, 2)

Famous historian Gonzalo
Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés

Rio Ozama meets the Caribbean

Room inside the fort

Another room

Rusty cannons

Ruins of Monasterio de
San Francisco

First monastery in the
New World

Dating from 1508

Begun by Franciscan friars

Iglesia de Nuestra Senora
de las Mercedes

Congregation on Sunday (more)

Iglesia de la Regina
Angelorum (more) ...

... and its facade

Ruinas del Hospital San
Nicolás de Bari

First European hospital in
the New World

Built in 1503

With Moorish arches (1, 2)

Capilla de Nuestra Senora
de los Remedios

Capilla de la Tercera
Orden Dominica

Built in 1729, now an office
of the archibishop

The house of the archbishop
of Santo Domingo

Convento de la Orden de
los Predicadores

First Dominican convent in
the Americas (1, 2, 3)

Main altar

A secondary chapel (more)

Plaza Espana (more)

Museo Alcazar de Colon

Street near Plaza Espana

Tourist restaurants

Salome Urena, poet and
teacher, 19th cent.


Plilately society

Playing with whips

Rum, Cigar, Coffee house

Bartolomé de las Casas

Plaza Fray Bartolomé de las Casas

Antonio de Montesinos (more)

Plaza Duarte (1, 2)

Streotypes survive

Boat on Rio Ozama

Once a colonial royal house,
now government office

Streetside bar / restaurant

Los Tres Ojos (1, 2)

Or "The Three Eyes"

Three limestone caverns

Filled with still, dark lagoons

Stalactite filled (1, 2, 3)

Looking out from inside (1, 2)

Fishes in the lagoons

Beaming tourist

Faro a Colon (1, 2)

Said to have Columbus' remains

El Meson de la Cava
(restaurant in a cave, bar)

Restaurant with local art




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