Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo

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Michael Filmore
Feb 6, 2012
Dominican Republic- Santo Domingo
With so many beautiful beaches competing for the attention of tourists, it would be easy to overlook Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. But what a mistake that would be! The path of history has touched Santo Domingo – it is here, in the 500-year-old architecture and the rich historical sites, that visitors come to appreciate the French, Haitian and Spanish influences on the island’s history. At the historical heart of Santo Domingo is the Ciudad Colonial (also called the Zona Colonial or the Colonial City), a priceless collection of 16th-century architecture restored and preserved in an expansive colonial neighborhood of squares, churches, historic buildings, important monuments, cobblestone laneways and atmospheric ruins. The neighborhood contains most of the historical sites in Santo Domingo, and a walking tour through its narrow streets and into its museums is a must for any visitor. Today, the Ciudad Colonial is much more than a collection of glorious architecture; it is a busy, historic neighborhood incorporating lively cafes, romantic courtyard restaurants and some of the best shopping in the city. The old town is still partially enclosed by remnants of the original city wall, that at one time was a first line of defense for its inhabitants. The grid pattern used by the city planners became the model for almost all town planners in the New World. At its centre is Parque Colón, a popular meeting place for both locals and tourists and one of the best people-watching spots in the city. In the centre of the park stands a large statue honoring the great explorer, Christopher Columbus. All of the historic sites in the Ciudad Colonial are within walking distance of the park. Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s population is 9,378,818,  of which 4.7 million are women and 4.6 million are men, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census. Since the 2002...
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