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Dominican Republic History

Dominican Republic was the first place that Christopher Columbus discovered in 1492 and called it La Hispaniola, meaning “The Little Spain”. Dominican Republic's history starts with the Europeanization of the Americas, the conquest, the revolution and finaly the triunph of the human spirit.  

Columbus House

In the Dominican Republic history we find its natives, the Taínos. The Taínos called the island Quisqueya, but unfurtunately they were dismissed by the europeans with the arrival of Christopher Columbus and is for that reason that we don't have them in the present time.

In the Dominican Republic you will find the first permanent European settlement in the Americas; they called it La Isabela. The first colonial capital in the Americas was Santo Domingo, which is the capital of the Dominican Republic today. It was there where they built the first cathedral, university, European-built road, European-built fortress, and more.

Development of the Dominican Republic history  after Columbus discovery:

The English pirate Francis Drake invaded and pillaged the Hispaniola in 1568. The Spanish dominion was weakened over the island in such a way that all but the capital was abandoned and left to the mercy of the pirates for more than 50 years. 

Then, the French invaded the west end of the Island in 1655, and after several treaties and forced annexations, the portion of the island controlled by Santo Domingo was reduced to less than half.  

Toussaint Louverture in 1822, together with the Haitians, took over the entire island and tryed to force everyone to speak their French, so the island's Spanish-speaking residents had to fight for their lost independence. 

Again, on February 27, 1844, at the Puerta del Conde, the main scenario of the battle for liberty. Thanks to a group of patriots headed by Juan Pablo Duarte , Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Ramón Matías Mella, the Spanish part of the island was free again after 22 years of Haitian rule. It was then when the Spanish part of the island declare the independence of the country known today as the Dominican Republic.

But it was not over. In 1861, the "Anexión a España" ocurred when the Spanish returned to Santo Domingo and annexed the country to Spain for four years. 

After that, Santo Domingo went through many power changes, including the 1916-1924 occupation by US Marines. After that occupation Trujillo dictatorship was stablished in the 20th-century, such dictatorship lasted from 1930 to 1961 and ended with the execution of the dictator; as well as the multiple presidencies of Joaquin Balaguer, who governed the country for 22 years. These civil wars and political struggles marked the first 70 years of the country's independence.

The Columbus Lighthouse (Faro a Colon)

The Columbus Lighthouse (El Faro a Colón) This Lighthouse with the shape of a cross, lights up at night reflecting the cross on cloudy sky. The cost to build this lighthouse was of $400 million Dominican Peso approximately and it was erected in 1992 to honor the 500th anniversary of Columbus' opening of the Americas to European colonization. 



Monuments:

Alcázar de Colón (Columbus Castle)

Altar de la Patria (Homeland Altar)

Casa de Hernán Cortés (Hernan Cortes' House)

Casa del Cordón (House of the Lace)

Catedral Santa María la Menor, Primada de América (First Cathedral of the Americas)

Faro a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse)

Fuerte del Homenaje o La Fortaleza (The Honoring Fortress)

Iglesia de las Mercedes (The Mecedes Church)

Palacio de los capitanes generales (Palace of the General Captains)

Panteón Nacional
(National Cementery)

Puerta de la Misericordia (The Door of Mercy)

Puerta del Conde (Door of the Count)

Ruinas de San Francisco (San Francisco Ruins)



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