The Dominican Republic or Quisqueya, as we Dominicans call it, mother of all lands, gateway to the New World; it is a melting pot of creativity, a mixture of races and customs. A country of impressive sea, beaches, and mountains, but also the owner of an immensely rich cultural wealth that deserves to be known.
In Dominican territory, 33 firsts of America are exhibited, which mark the beginnings of the expansion of the West to the territories of today the American continent.
Its first inhabitants were the brave and skilled indigenous people, Taíno-Arawak, who first settled in the eastern part of the island before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish. The Tainos had multiple kingdoms, each ruled by a chief or cacique, and they coexisted peacefully.
Several brave Taíno leaders rebelled against Spanish colonization and slavery. Cacique Caonabo, from the Samaná region, was the first to lead a revolt.
The Taínos practiced complex agriculture, but they were also talented artisans and believed in the medicinal power of plants and natural remedies. Today, its only vestige is found in the caves where they left pictographs and petroglyphs, mainly in Samaná, Bayahíbe, San Cristóbal and Enriquillo, as well as the different museums around the country, especially the “Museum of the Dominican Man” in Santo Domingo and the “Altos de Chavón Regional Archaeological Museum” in La Romana.
The Dominican Republic is divided into 32 provinces, the capital is the city of Santo Domingo. A cosmopolitan city; Its historic center has a great history, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Its streets date from the 16th to the 20th centuries, such as the Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación, the first cathedral in America. Among its streets, Las Damas Street, the oldest in the first city, draws attention at every step.
The rich culture of the Colonial City is completed with the Viceregal Palace Alcázar de Diego Colón, the Royal Shipyards, the National Pantheon, the House of the Jesuits, the palaces that belonged to Nicolás de Ovando and Hernán Cortés, the Ozama Fortress, the church Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes and the church and Convent “Regina Angelorum”.
Among other buildings of great interest and attraction, the Dominican Convent, which together with its heritage value, has gone down in history as one of the first places where the voice for the human rights of the indigenous people was raised.
We also highlight the Palacio Consistorial, dating from 1502-1504, which was built as the residence of the mayor, but in the 19th century it was completely remodeled giving it the neoclassical style of the time. Years later, in 1913, the 29-meter-high tower was added, which characterizes the corner of the current town hall where the clock can be seen.