Trip to Dominican Republic (January 2006)

More History in Santo Domingo on Duarte Day

Honor guard was folding a flag at the end of 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

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).
(I had to rotate the picture to make it look right.)

Sign at Parque Independencia

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

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.)

Forteleza Ozama

Craig and Lucinda at Forteleza Ozama, with cannon in the background.
This fort was at the mouth of the Rio Ozama and was used to protect the city.

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 site).
It adds a little 'pudge' to my middle, especially with the larger shirt.

Rifleman's embrasures at Forteleza Ozama

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.

Casa del Cordón

This is Casa del Cordón, named because of the rope ("cordón") over the door, part of the sash-and-cord symbol of the Franciscan order. Diego Columbus (son of Christopher) briefly occupied this home.

A view from the second floor of the Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses)

A view from the second floor of the Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses).
It was built between 1503 and 1520, and was the longtime seat of Spanish authority for the entire Caribbean region.
(Click for a view of another courtyard, facing east toward the river.)

Peacock at Museo de las Casas Reales

One of the residents of the Museo de las Casas Reales

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