Zona Colonial (Colonial City) :: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is one of the best vacation destinations in the Caribbean; full of modern sophistication, old world charm and of course the amazing tropical sandy beaches. One of its most interesting attractions is Zona Colonial (also known as Colonial City or Colonial Zone), the first settlement made by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers during their discovery of the New World. This 3 square kilometer section of the city has been amazingly preserved and is home to the Western Hemisphere’s first cathedral, first monastery, first hospital, first university and first court of law. Visitors will enjoy exploring the zone, discovering dozens of historical buildings and sites including forts, palaces, museums and more.
Make sure you check out the impressive Fortaleza Ozama on the edge of the zone as it stands guard overlooking the Ozama River. This sixteenth-century castle, also called La Fortaleza or The Fortress, located at the end of Las Damas street has an amazing medieval style and design with its main tower standing in the center of the grounds. Originally designed to guard the entrance to the port of Santo Domingo, it was later used as a prison until the 1960s when it was restored and opened to the public as a tourist attraction. Colonial City was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1990 because of its vast historical importance and the impact it had on town planning in the New World. Its grid pattern design became the model for almost all town planners during this time period. With so many sights to see and a variety of restaurants, bars and shops surrounding you, Colonial City in Santo Domingo is the great place to spend an enjoyable day out and about.
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