Trip to Dominican Republic (January 2006)
More History in Santo Domingo on Duarte Day
This honor guard was folding a flag at the end of Duarte Day (observed on Monday), at Parque Independencia in Santo Domingo.
Inside the Altar de la Patria, there are remains of three national heroes: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Matías Mella. There was an armed soldier (part of an honor guard) standing by at the entrance.
I walked up some nearby stairs to take this picture. The stairs appeared
to go to the top of the monument, and would have had a good view of
the city. But while Lucinda and I were on our way up, I heard "Ssst!"
from the guard, and "Prohibido!" I apologized, got Lucinda, and quickly
descended the stairs (but not before taking this picture).
This sign is at an entrance just outside the monument. Translated, it reads, "Independence Park: It is prohibited to eat and sell articles and or services inside the park (water, coffee, shoe shine, etc.)" What makes this sign interesting is that all of these activities were present nearly everywhere else in the city that we walked, and we were amazed to find one place that these activities were actually restricted.
Leaving Independence Park, looking east back through El Conde (the pedestrian walkway) through Puerta del Conde (Gate of the Count). This was the easternmost entrance to Zona Colonial, and the spot where the Count of Peñalba led the successful defense of Santo Domingo against an invading force of of 13,000 British troops in 1655.
In 1844, a bloodless coup occurred against Haitian occupying forces, resulting in the creation of a wholly independent Dominican Republic. (Source: Lonely Planet, Dominican Republic guide.)
Craig and Lucinda at Forteleza
Ozama, with cannon in the background.
It was interesting that most Dominicanas thought we were European. I attribute this to our lack of wearing clothing that was slathered in logos. If you want to be clearly known as an American tourist, simply wear clothes that advertise your favorite sports team, athletic brand, or beverage of choice.
FYI: I'm wearing money belt in this picture (and most others on this
We hired a guide, Juan Sanchez, who is pictured here illustrating how the rifleman's embrasures in the two-meter thick walls were used by marksman to protect the fort. There are a variety of guides around Zona Colonial that will give you an official walking tour for $20-25.
A view from the second floor of the Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum
of the Royal Houses).
One of the residents of the Museo de las Casas Reales