Colonial City

Travelers arriving at the Dominican Republic is appointed to have a rendezvous with Santo Domingo's old part of the city, a remembrance of a past teeming with 500 years of history that dazzles visitors with a unique charm as they feast their eyes on the America's first-ever courthouse, college, cathedral and hospital. Walking down the narrow cobbled streets is like turning back time and getting lost in the huge mansions, parks, museums and over 200 monuments scattered all around the 16th-century old part of town. This is undoubtedly one of the country's most attractive tourist destination. No wonder it was declared Heritage of Mankind back in 1990. This city brags with having an excellent gourmet, a vibrant nightlife, charming hotels and luring shopping facilities, all of this within a unique historical framework in the Americas. Popular ambiance of the colony meets the eye by merely strolling Herreros Street, a piece of town wrapped in houses of robust stone facades, small cafés and bars that harbor a bohemian nightly atmosphere. And down Ataranza Street and its surroundings, there are several sightseeing locations such as art galleries and halls and many, many other options. As far as Santo Domingo's major streets are concerned, Las Damas Street bustles with people interested in visiting its numerous colonial buildings. Conde, Duarte and Mella streets are the city's main avenues where most of the trade and business activity is clustered. When it comes to having something to drink, no other place is better than the restored Plaza España (Spain Square) where the statue of the founding father of the city, Nicolas de Ovando, is located. Share merengue with the locals -their favorite pasión- and as Padre Labat, a Frenchman who landed on the island once said: "I think there's no people in the world more attached to dancing."

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The first known English settlement was built by shipwrecked British sailors in 1638. It was owned by Spain, but more and more British settlers arrived and in the area was annexed as a British colony became British Honduras.