Cultural High Points of Your Next Dominican Republic Holiday
The Dominican Republic is part of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. Every year, over 7 million people visit the island drawn to the beautiful beaches, the perfect holiday climate, and culture. It is truly a magnificent destination and perhaps best of all it has cultural wonders to enrich your life.
With this in mind, let’s take a deep dive into the cultural wonders the Dominican Republic has to offer. You’ll get an understanding of the country and her people, and with each one
you visit the more insights you’ll receive and the more enriched your life.
So after you sort out your accommodation, the Iberostar’s best hotels in Dominican Republic are recommended, where to go.
Table of contents
Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo
The Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo is 500 years old and was the first cathedral to be built in the Americas. The architecture is magnificent with its golden sheen coming from the limestone mix used in its construction.
Inside it is even more remarkable with intricate cross beam construction mesmerising visitors for centuries.
When entering the building the audio guide is recommended so you learn the rich history that surrounds this building.
Please note, that this building is a place of worship and clothing deemed too revealing may block your entry. That said, the cathedral does offer wraps so you can still get in no matter your fashion choice for the day.
Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo
A UNESCO world heritage site, Zona Colonial is the oldest “New World” settlement with peoples arriving from Europe in 1502. As you walk around the district the different architectural styles will hold your gaze as you’re presented with ornate brick, stone, and earthen structures which all represent some aspect of the history of Zona Colonial.
Some buildings have an ornate design, such as churches and forts. Others have different architectural styles. You can learn all about the district in one of the museums. This is a popular place to visit as among the historic culture are great places to get a bite to eat.
Alcazar de Colon , Santo Domingo
Alcazar de Colon is a World Heritage castle built by Christopher Columbus’ son Diego Colon. Today, the Colon’s former residence houses one of the greatest collections of medieval and Renaissance art and tapestries in the Caribbean.
The restored rooms give a fascinating glimpse into the past as well as giving an art lover everything they dreamed about. Add to your experience further by taking a guided tour or listen to the audio guide.
Altos de Chavon, La Romana
The Altos de Chavon, La Romana is not a historical part of the Dominican Republic interwoven into the history of the region, but is actually a constructed village modelled in the Mediterranean style of the 16th century. The village was designed and built by Dominican architect Jose Antonio Caro and Italian artist Roberto Coppa.
What is astonishing is that it really feels like a medieval village. It has cobblestone streets and the architectural styles make it easy to mistake the village for a real medieval village. Stars of the show are the amphitheatre where some great performances can be seen and the archaeological museum which hosts some amazing relics from the past.
Columbus Lighthouse (Faro A Colon)
The last remains of Christopher Columbus the famous explorer that discovered the Americas can be found here, at the Columbus Lighthouse (Faro A Colon), and this amazing achievement is well documented in the attached museum.
The building was designed by a Scottish architect and completed in 1992 the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the “New World”.
The museum has some fascinating relics of the past. Columbian jewellery and a boat from Cuba are two of the highlights.
Fortaleza Ozama, Santo Domingo
The Fortaleza Ozama, Santo Domingo is the oldest colonial fort in the Dominican Republic and its construction was completed in 1502. Since then, it has protected Santo Domingo and later it served as a prison. As you would expect a tour of the fort is in order where you are shown the powder house, old cannons and the remains of an 18th century living quarters.
You can hire guides to get insights into the grounds, and a trip to the highest tower to get a panoramic view of the region should be on your bucket list.
Fortaleza San Felipe, Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata is worth visiting and spending time there thanks to the charm and attractions the city offers. The Fortaleza San Felipe is the only remnant from the original 16th century settlement and it has to be said it is quite magnificent.
The fort was commissioned by King Felipe IV of Spain and was completed in 1577 with the idea that it would repel pirate attacks which were a problem of the day. The fort saw a few battles but was predominantly used as a prison. You can get the full story when you visit the fort which is now a museum.
Enjoy your Dominican Republic adventure.
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