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Chapter 23: San Diego Low Battery in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Then they stared at the San Diego Low Battery and a bastion called Invincible Fort as they moved toward the Ozama River. Imagine being a sixteenth-century invader and staring at the cannons protruding from the flared openings (embrasures) and above the defensive wall of Bateria Baja de San Diego. Heading south brings you to a […]

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Chapter 23: Ozama River in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

From the top of the defensive wall, Chris described the Ozama River below. Along the east bank shown from Sundial Plaza is Bartholomew Columbus Marina, named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus. Rio Ozama travels for nearly 100 miles before flowing into the Caribbean Sea at the south end of Santo Domingo.

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Chapter 23: Chapel of the Rosary in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Chris pointed to a tiny, inconspicuous building on the opposite riverbank. “That’s where Bartholomew Columbus founded La Nueva Isabela in 1496. Six years later, the colonists moved here, renamed it Santo Domingo, and it became Spain’s de facto New World capital.” The Chapel of the Rosary was built in 1544 and later abandoned by the […]

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Chapter 23: San Diego Gate in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Anna was fascinated by his knowledge. She kept asking questions about the city’s history as they walked down to San Diego Gate. When this portal was constructed in 1576, Puerta de San Diego was the main city entrance from the port. Hence the alternative name Gate of the Sea. Among the heraldic symbols is the […]

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Chapter 23: Christopher Columbus Monument in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

About twenty people exited the bus at Parque Colón in the Colonial Zone. José pointed out the Christopher Columbus Monument and explained the explorer’s arrival in 1492. The Taino people called the island Ayti. Columbus renamed his discovery La Isla Española (Hispaniola). Four years later, Columbus’s brother Bartholomew established La Nueva Isabela, the New World’s […]

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Chapter 23: Ozama Fortress in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Ozama Fortress was next. Because the Spanish fort was closed on Mondays, people were only allowed to wander around the medieval ruins after a brief description. The citadel was built in 1508 to defend against French and British conquerors, pirates and the indigenous Taíno people. The 59-foot Tower of Homage was added the following […]

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Chapter 23: National Pantheon in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The group was then led along Calle Las Damas, the first cobblestone street in the New World. The historic sites along the way were interesting, especially the National Pantheon. In 1958, Dictator Rafael Trujillo converted an eighteenth-century Jesuit church and convent into the National Pantheon of the Dominican Republic. The remains of over 40 heroes […]

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Chapter 23: Alcázar de Colón in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Most fascinating was the fifty-five-room former mansion of Diego Colón, the son of Christopher Columbus. The first palace of the New World was commissioned while Diego Colón was governor of the Indies. When finished in 1514, the residence was the social epicenter for Spanish conquistadors and dignitaries. Descendants of Columbus lived at Alcázar de Colón […]

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Chapter 23: Spain Plaza in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

When José announced they were stopping for a one-hour lunch at Plaza de España, the crowd approved. Mystery man said something to José in Spanish, then walked off. A cluster of eight upscale restaurants are tucked into a line of 500-year-old warehouses. All of them offer good food, outdoor seating and a respite for tired […]