- Population: 2.5 Million
- Location: Southern Coast
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic, founded in 1496, and is the oldest European city in the New World. It’s located on the southern coast, and contains a population of approximately 2 and a half million people.
The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1562, and was burnt down in 1586 by the British explorer Sir Francis Drake. Constant attacks by the British and French meant the city was never able to recover.
Alcazar de Colon
Inside of a colonial building
The country only achieved independence in 1843 when the father of the Dominican Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte, declared independence. However, a lack of governmental control ended with the dictatorship of Trujillo, after whom Santo Domingo was renamed as Ciudad Trujillo in 1936 – and only changed back on Trujillo’s death in 1961.
The Casa de Francia is an important place, having served as the home of the conqueror of present-day Mexico, Hernan Cortes. The oldest colonial military edifice in the New World is located in Santo Domingo: the Fortaleza Ozama was constructed in 1502 and was in use for over two hundred years, having been occupied by Spain, England, France, Haiti, Gran Colombia, the United States and the Dominican Republic over time. Other sites are the Catedral Primada de América, the oldest cathedral still in operation in the western hemisphere. Another attraction of the city is its Botanical Gardens, a two-square-kilometer area of varying species of beautiful plants.
The weather in Santo Domingo remains pleasant all year round; the temperatures range from 29 degrees during winter, increasing to 31 in the summertime. At nighttime, these figures fall to about 19 and 22 respectively.
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