Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital city and an important center for creative thought, education and history was named 2010 Cultural Capital by the American Capital of Culture (www.cac-acc.org). Santo Domingo, the first city of the New World, helped to open up the Americas and is now a thriving modern city. “We are honored by this prestigious recognition. Santo Domingo is a modern, yet very historic city founded by Christopher Columbus’ brother Bartholomew in 1496,” said Magaly Toribio, the DR’s Vice Minister of International Promotion. “With over 500 years of spirited Dominican culture, Santo Domingo’s assets are especially unique and offer the world a living testament to the past that formed us as a nation and ignited exploration of the New World.”
The oldest part of the city is known as the Colonial City, where visitors can explore the Alcazar de Colón, Columbus’ home, and also the first cathedral, university and hospital of the Americas. Historic buildings rest along cobblestone streets that Spanish conquistadors once strolled. The legendary city has a wealth of museums, monuments and restaurants, set among the larger city’s modern amenities such as the new Metro transportation system, state-of-the-art cruise ship terminals, savory cuisine, unique shopping, architecture and more. Resting on the Caribbean Sea, Santo Domingo is now a sophisticated center of commerce with 2.3 million residents, dozens of world-class museums, opera, arts and historic sites like the Columbus Lighthouse, where Christopher Columbus’ remains are said to be. With two major airports, highways and seaports, Santo Domingo serves as gateway to over 800 miles of stunning DR coastline, dazzling mountains studded with waterfalls, exotic cuisine, and countless arts and entertainment options.