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Santo Domingo History

Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’s brother Bartholomew Columbus, Santo Domingo is rich with history including the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prior to Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, Santo Domingo was home to the Taino people. The Spanish settled in the Dominican Republic, named Hispanola by Columbus, in 1496 and made Santo Domingo the capitol of the first Spanish colony in the New World. Santo Domingo stands as the oldest European city in the Americas. Today, Santo Domingo is the financial, industrial, and commercial hub of the Dominican Republic.

La Ciudad Colonial or Colonial Zone is a World Heritage Site occupying about three square miles of Santo Domingo. Located on the west bank of the Ozama River, the Colonial Zone contains some of the city’s most important historic landmarks many of which survive from the city’s founding in the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, the Colonial Zone is one of the most visited attractions in the Dominican Republic. Walking around the 11 block walled city, you will find restaurants, clubs, historical monuments, and museums. For guests wanting a unique experience near the hotel, this is the place to go and enjoy a dinner al fresco, have a drink, or see a bit of history.