Category Archives: COLONIAL ZONE SIGHTS, MONUMENTS & PARKS

Contents of Category COLONIAL ZONE AND SANTO DOMINGO – SIGHTS & MONUMENTS

History of the old city of Santo Domingo now known as the Zona Colonial.

Colonial Zone Map

The Monuments, Museums and Sights of the Colonial City.

Buildings/Edificios – Monuments/Monumentos

Alcázar de Colón / Columbus Royal Palace
CASA CABALLERO
CASA DE BASTIDAS
CASA DE JUAN VILORIA
CASA DE LOS DÁVILA / CAPILLA DE LOS REMEDIOS
CASA DE LOS JESUITAS
CASA DE LAS GÁRGOLAS
CASA DE LOS MEDALLONES
CASA DEL CORDÓN
CASA DEL SACRAMENTO
CASA DEL TAPAO
CASA DEL TOSTADO
CASA DE LAS ACADEMIAS
CASA HERNÁN CORTÉS
CASA REALES AND MUSEO
COLEGIO DE GORJÓN
COLONIAL CULVERTS
COLUMBUS PALACE
MONTECINO THE MAN AND MONUMENT
PALACIO CONSISTORIAL
PALACIO DE BORGELLÁ
SUN DIAL
RUINS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY
RUINAS HOSPITAL SAN NICOLÁS DE BARI
Puerta de las Atarazans
Puerta de la Misericordia/ Gate of Mercy
Fuerte and Puerta San Diego

*Monuments from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

Altar de la Patria/ Altar of the Nation
Puerta el Conde/ Door of the Conde
Residencia de Ovando/ Governor Nicolás Ovando’s Residence

CHURCHES / IGLESIAS

CAPILLA DE LA TERCERA ORDEN DOMINICA
CASA DE LOS DÁVILA / CAPILLA DE LOS REMEDIOS
CATEDRAL DE SANTO DOMINGO
CHAPEL OF THE ROSARY
ERMITA DE SAN ANTÓN
IGLESIA ALTAGRACIA
IGLESIA – FUERTE SANTA BARBARA
IGLESIA LAS MERCEDES
IGLESIA LOS DOMINICOS
IGLESIA NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL CARMEN
IGLESIA REGINA ANGELORUM
IGLESIA SAN LAZARO
IGLESIA DE SANTA CLARA
LA CAPILLA DE SAN ANDRÉS
LAS MERCEDES
CAPILLA DE LA TERCERA ORDEN FRANCISCANA
IGLESIA DE SAN MIGUEL
PANTEÓN NACIONAL / NATIONAL PANTHEON

FORTS AND FORTALEZAS

Fortaleza Ozama
Inside The Walls of the Fortaleza Ozama
FUERTE CARINA AND ANGULO
FUERTE SAN GIL
IGLESIA – FUERTE SANTA BARBARA
FUERTE AND PARQUE SAN JOSÉ
FUERTE DE LA CONCEPCIÓN
FUERTE INVINCIBLE AND SAN DIEGO

*Forts from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

Fuerte de la Caridad/ Fort of Charity
Fuerte de San Anton
Fuerte de San Lazaro
Fuerte de San Miguel

MUSEUMS/MUSEOS

CASA DE BASTIDAS – Trampolín, Museo Infantil
CASA DEL TOSTADO – Museo de la Familia Dominicano
CASA DE LOS MEDALLONES – Museo Numismático Dominicano
COLEGIO DE GORJÓN – Centro Cultural de España
CASA REALES AND MUSEO
COLUMBUS PALACE – MUSEO ALCAZAR DE COLÓN

*Museos from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

Amber World Museum
Larimar Factory
Larimar Museum
Museo del Tabaco/ The Tobacco Museum
Museo Naval de las Atarazanas/ Naval Museum of the Atarazanas
Museo de la Porcelana/ Museum of Porcelain
Museo de Juan Pablo Duarte/ Museum of Juan Pablo Duarte
Memorial Museum of Dominican Resistance / El Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana
Museo del Ron y la Caña / Museum of Rum and Sugar Cane
Museum of Telecommunications / Museo de las Telecomunicaciones (CCT)

PARKS AND PLAZAS

CEIBA DE COLON
PARQUE PLAZA MARIA TRINIDAD SANCHEZ
PLAZA DE LA POESÍA
PARQUE PELLERANO CASTRO – PARQUE ROSADO
FUERTE AND PARQUE SAN JOSÉ
Playa Placer de los Estudios
Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery Avenue Independencia (Picture album – Cementerio Nacional)

*Parks and Plazas from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

CEIBA DE COLON
Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery Avenue Independencia (Picture album – Cementerio Nacional)
PARQUE PLAZA MARIA TRINIDAD SANCHEZ
PLAZA DE LA POESÍA
PARQUE PELLERANO CASTRO – PARQUE ROSADO
FUERTE AND PARQUE SAN JOSÉ
Playa Placer de los Estudios
Plaza Bartolomé de las Casas
Plazoleta Padre Billini
Plaza at Ermita de San Anton

*Parks and Plazas from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

Malecón – The seaside road
Parque Colón/ Columbus Park
Parque Duarte
Parque Independencia/ Independence Park
Plaza de España or Plaza de Armas
Plaza María de Toledo
Plazoleta y Callejónde los Curas/ Plaza and Alley of the Cures

STATUES
Fray Bartolomé Las Casas
Poet Julia de Burgos
MONTECINO THE MAN AND MONUMENT
The Statue of General Matías Ramón Mella
Ornamental Fountain Monument
Monument to the Japanese Agricultural Immigration

STREETS/CALLES
CALLE EL CONDE
CALLE LAS DAMAS
CALLE HOSTOS

*Streets and Calles from old html web site not yet added to the new site:

Malecón – The seaside road

Faro San Souci Punta Torrecilla

Lighthouse / Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla

The Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla is located near the entrance to the port of Santo Domingo at Rio Ozama on the South Coast of Dominican Republic. The yellow and black lighthouse stands at the tip of the park Punta Torrecilla on the coral cliffs of the Caribbean Sea. The lighthouse can be seen from many points around the city.

The Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla in Santo Domingo sits on the coral cliffs of the Caribbean Sea
The Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla in Santo Domingo sits on the coral cliffs of the Caribbean Sea

The Faro

The original lighthouse in this location was built around 1853. It was deactivated and demolished in 1967. The present Black and Yellow Faro located on the point was built in 1986. It is very similar in appearance to the Survivors Lighthouse on the North Coast in Puerta Plata.

The yellow and black lighthouse on the point at Punta Torrecilla
The yellow and black lighthouse on the point at Punta Torrecilla

The pyramid-like concrete tower is 125 feet tall. The entire height, including the light, is 135 feet tall. Faro Sans Souci sends out a blinking white light beacon with a view range of 13 nautical miles. The lighthouse is used as a navigational aid for entrance into the Port of Santo Domingo. The Faro San Souci sits on a terrain about 7 meters above sea level.

Fishermen lining the cliffs at the Punta Torrecilla
Fishermen lining the cliffs at the Punta Torrecilla

Punta Torrecilla Park

From the vantage point of the park at Punta Torrecilla, there is a beautiful view of the city of Santo Domingo and Avenida George Washington also known as the Malecon. There are usually people fishing off the coral cliffs. Sit, relax and watch the many ships bringing and leaving with their loads. Many Cruise Ships and the Ferry from Puerto Rico come and go from the Puerto Santo Domingo. The ports include Puerto San Souci and Puerto Don Diego.

Broken walkways surrounding the park at the Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla
Broken walkways surrounding the park at the Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla

The park was at one time had beautiful walkways along the coral cliffs where the waves of the turquoise Caribbean Sea broke. Now the paths are broken and most lay in rubble. The park is usually littered with trash from people picnicking under the palm trees. Local youths like to swim off the cliffs which can be dangerous. Swimming is prohibited here during popular Dominican holidays because of the hazards. It is visited by police and military off and on, trying to keep the area safe. It is OK to visit during the daylight but I would highly advise against visiting after dark. It is a lonely and quiet place where derelicts and bad humans frequent.

The view of the Faro rising above the trees as seen from Avenida España coming from the Airport.
The view of the Faro rising above the trees as seen from Avenida España coming from the Airport.

Location

The Park of Punta Torrecilla, where the Faro sits, is located in Los Mameyes, Santo Domingo Este along Avenida España on the property of the Naval Base 27 de Febrero. Academia Naval / Naval Academy is located across the street and the Club De Oficiales De La Marina De Guerra / Navy Officers Club is next door. Coming into Santo Domingo from the airport the park sits on the left before you enter the city.

The view of the mouth of Rio Ozama at the Caribbean Sea with the Faro San Souci in the distance. Picture is taken from Playita Montecino at the Malecon in Colonial Zone.
The view of the mouth of Rio Ozama at the Caribbean Sea with the Faro San Souci in the distance. Picture is taken from Playita Montecino at the Malecon in Colonial Zone.

Homeless Jesus Sculpture

Sculpture Homeless Jesus / Escultura Jesús Desamparado

Located in the Plaza in front of the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers / Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos is a replica of a very special and touching sculpture. The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz was installed in 2017.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / La escultura "Jesús Desamparado" by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos, Dominican Republic
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos

The touching life-size very real looking sculpture is an image of Christ. It is represented by a homeless person lying on a bench. He is shrouded in a blanket with his face slightly visible. The only body parts exposed is the feet. Looking closer the feet have wounds. These wounds are caused by the crucifixion nails.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Inspiration for the Sculpture

A homeless man sleeping on a park bench was Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz inspiration for this touching sculpture. Schmalz says the sculpture is meant to challenge and inspire people to be charitable. He says he thought of the scripture in St. Matthew 25:35 and 36 (New International Version) – “Because I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you stayed me, I was naked and you dressed me; sick and you visited me, in jail and you came to see me ”.

Mateo 25:35 y 36 (Nueva Versión Internacional) – “Porque tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; fui forastero, y me dieron alojamiento; necesité ropa, y me vistieron; estuve enfermo, y me atendieron; estuve en la cárcel, y me visitaron”.

"Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.
“Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.

First Sculpture & Locations:

The first sculpture of Homeless Jesus (2013) is located at the Jesuit School of Theology, Regis College in Toronto. The second sculpture is located at the Vatican where it was blessed by Pope Francis. After the Pope’s blessing, the sculpture went viral on social networks. Many requests were made for replicas to be placed in locations throughout the world.

The most prominent location or this touching sculpture is in Rome outside of the Papal Office of Charities. By early 2016, some 100 copies of Homeless Jesus were installed and blessed in many places around the world.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Some of the other locations of the copies of the original sculpture include:
*St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, North Carolina, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s headquarters in the River North neighborhood, Chicago, USA
*Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, USA
*Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Catholic Church, Detroit Michigan
*Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s main services building near downtown Oklahoma City, OK, USA
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*First Congregational Church in Elyria, Ohio, USA
*The first sculpture outside of North America was installed on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
*Father Woody’s Haven of Hope, a homeless day shelter near downtown Denver, CO, USA
*Holy Rosary Church, Vancouver City
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville, Australia
*Belfast, Northern Ireland
*Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Location:

Walking on Calle el Conde turn south on Calles Hostos or Duarte. Go 2 blocks. The burnt orange colored building is across from Parque Duarte on Calle Padre Billini. The sculpture is located at the Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos/ Monastery (Convent) and Church of the Dominican Fathers in the Plaza in front of the university entrance, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana.

References:

https://www.alfayomega.es/70054/el-que-duerme-en-el-banco-podria-ser-jesus

https://www.sculpturebytps.com/about-the-artist/

Plazoleta Padre Billini

Plazoleta Padre Billini

Beautiful and intimate Plazoleta / Small Plaza Padre Billini, named after and dedicated to Padre Billini who contributed many important things to the Dominican Republic. Here his statue, made by French sculptor Ernest Gilbert, stands proudly.

The statue of Padre Francisco Xavier Billini stands in the center of the plaza named after him, Plazoleta Padre Billini
The statue of Padre Francisco Xavier Billini stands in the center of the plaza named after him, Plazoleta Padre Billini

Padre Francisco Xavier Billini (December 1, 1837 – March 9, 1896), known as the protector of the poor man. He was also a great Philanthropist. Billini founded the National Lottery in 1882 to help pay for the poorest patients of the Hospital de la Beneficencia. This was the first charity hospital in the Dominican Republic, later known as Hospital San Andrés. We now know the hospital as Hospital Docente Padre Billini located on Calle Santomé in the Colonial Zone.

The statue of Padre Billini, The protector of the people, stands in the center of the Plaza
The statue of Padre Billini, The protector of the people, stands in the center of the Plaza

The Legend of La Casa de Garay

Where this Plazoleta Padre Billini is now, there once was a large beautiful house, The Casa de Garay. This private home was built around 1520. It was torn down because of a disagreement between neighbors.

Located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño on the left is La Bricola Restaurant and the Plaza Padre Billini is where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood
Located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño on the left is La Bricola Restaurant and the Plaza Padre Billini is where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood

A widow, who lived in her home where La Bricola Restaurant is located (across the street from the Plaza), saw a sight from her window. A slave from the Casa de Garay decided to milk their masters’ cow in the middle of the street. The elderly lady complained. The owners of the House of Garay made a nasty comment about this. The widows’ nephew heard about the comment and came to his elderly aunts’ defense. He wanted to defend the family name of Franco Medina.

The nephew wanted the owner of the slave to apologize. They even offered to purchase the slave so they could punish him and end the dispute. The owner refused. It was against the law to speak badly or defame someone’s character. It was a very serious offense (and still is in the Dominican Republic). A long court battle entailed because they questioned the persons’ honor. The elderly woman won the lawsuit.

In this time in history, many lawsuits were settled by giving the losers home to the winner of a suit. The owner of the lost home said angrily (general translation) “It’s easy for anyone to get rich!” The Franco Medina family, who won the property, announced that the house will not be lived in by me or anyone. They destroyed the home because they did not want the owner to think the Medina family fought and won just to take the home.

The empty lot was turned into a plaza. This plaza has had many different names over time, including Plaza de las Franco, Plaza de las Lebrón and Plaza de las Mañón. Finally, Damián Báez (the son of Presidente Buenaventura Báez), purchased the property to make a plaza dedicated to Padre Billini.

Plaza Padre Billini Now

Plazolita Padre Billini has large shade trees where one can sit and enjoy a rest from the Dominican sun
Plazolita Padre Billini has large shade trees where one can sit and enjoy a rest from the Dominican sun

The small plaza has benches under large shade trees where you can sit and enjoy the breeze. It is now half occupied by some of the restaurants that line the site. These restaurants are nice but expensive places. You can sit outside in the Plaza or inside the enclosed restaurants or private patios to have a meal and a drink.

The Plazoleta Padre Billini is a favorite spot to take wedding pictures.
The Plazoleta Padre Billini is a favorite spot to take wedding pictures.

They hold many special events in the Plaza from meetings with the President to small intimate weddings. It is a great place to take wedding pictures too.

Plazoleta Padre Billini is located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño and Padre Billini where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood
Plazoleta Padre Billini is located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño and Padre Billini where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood

Location:

Walking from Calle el Conde turn on Arzobispo Meriño south toward the sea. Walk about a block and a half and small plaza, Plazoleta Padre Billini, is on the left side before you get to Calle Padre Billini.