Historic Colonial City of Santo Domingo

The Colonial Zone or Colonial City in Santo Domingo is the oldest city built by Europeans in the American continent. Most of the buildings in this area were the first: first Cathedral, church, hospital, university, etc. Columbus found the perfect port and decided to build the city here, giving the responsibility to his brother Bartholomew to oversee construction of the city which began in 1496.Santo Domingo was the political and cultural center of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. Everyone traveling to the Americas had to stop here first. Some stayed adding to the cultural flavour of the island and it's fusion cuisine.

The colonial zone is the main tourist attraction in Santo Domingo. There are many historical buildings and small alleys to discover. There you will also find small coffee shops with delicious home made pastries, or traditional Dominican restaurants where you can try some of the dishes that make Dominican cuisine so special.

Or enjoy a glass of wine at the Casa de Ovando, said to be the home of governor Nicolas de Ovando and now a luxury hotel with views of the Ozama river and port. A must see is the Alcazar de Colon, Columbus' son's palace. His home while governing the island. The accompanying museum next door has some nice aromour and period pieces.

Calle del Conde is a pedestrian-only street that includes several notable commercial buildings of the early 20th century and connects Parque Colon with the historic Puerta del Conde. The whole Colonial Zone also boasts many gift shops where you can buy amber or larimar jewelry, carvings, paintings, and more. Most are very reasonably priced.
 
If you are visiting the Colonial Zone, give yourself plenty of time. There is a lot to see.

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