Some photos of Santo Domingo. . .
The presidential palace looks rather like the White House.
An interesting building. . .
The Dominican Republic flag flies over a traffic intersection.
Santo Domingo traffic.
Interesting interior of a building just off the plaza by the cathedral.
And again. . .
The former house of Hernando Cortez, now the French embassy.
Calle de las Damas, the oldest street in the Americas.
Gateway to Santo Domingo Fortress.
The fortress itself. Unsurprisingly the external stairway was added after it stopped being used as a fortress.
The inner gateway used to lead down to the port. That was the gateway through which Cortez and his men marched as they set off to conquer Mexico. The outer gateway and wall were added by the dictator Trujillo, to separate the fortress from the port area during a period when the fortress was used to hold political prisoners.
Standing on the fortress, with the Dominican Republic navy in the background.
View across the river to the Columbus Palace on the day after a big typhoon.
Queen Isabella of Spain in the foreground and the Columbus Memorial in the background.
The Columbus memorial. An entire district inhabited by lower income residents of Santo Domingo was supposedly bulldozed to make way for the memorial and surrounding park. When I visited the grass in the park had apparently been left untended for months, the fountains were full of gravel, and the memorial itself was boarded up. They still light it up for special occasions though.
The typhoon had caused flooding in some streets.
Santo Domingos old heart, a pleasant pedestrian street running west from the Calle de las Damas. Most of the shops here are fast food outlets so there is not a whole lot to see. The locals stroll up and down in the evenings though.
Since the Dominican Republic recognizes Taiwan, the Republic of China, rather than China, the People’s Republic of China, Santo Domingo has a Taiwanese embassy. Yes, that’s right, a real embassy rather than a ‘trade and cultural office’ or something similarly non-official sounding. I stopped by just to take a picture or two.
The embassy had moved from its old location and a nice local guy who had also gone to the wrong address gave me a lift to the new one. He was was some kind of professional negotiator and was doing something related to employment issues at the embassy. He was talkative but spoke no English. I’m not sure if he understood my Spanish explanation of why I was going to the embassy just to take pictures. Never mind. He even gave me a lift back to my hotel.
The palace that was the center of government during the period of Haitian rule.
Something rum related to finish, a disused Barcelo rum factory.