Casa del Cordón in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Casa del Cordón dates back to 1503. This is the first stone residence in the Americas. The name House of the Cord stems from the relief over the entrance resembling the braided cords worn by Franciscan friars. The home was built for Francisco de Garay. He was a Spanish conquistador who traveled to Hispania in 1493 during the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. Francisco de Garay later was the governor of the colony of Santiago (today’s Jamaica) from 1514 to 1523. He also was the first to explore the southern coast of North America including Florida and the Mississippi River. Casa del Cordón has another distinction. This was the temporary home of Diego Columbus and his wife María de Toledo while the Alcázar de Colón was under construction. Finally, in 1586, negotiations with Sir Francis Drake occurred here to pay him ransom for the safe return of the captured city. The historic building is now a bank.

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Calle Isabel La Católica & Calle Emiliano Tejera, Santo Domingo 10212, Dominican Republic

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