Category Archives: Monuments of Colonial Zone

Monuments of Colonial Zone

Buildings/Edificios – Monuments/Monumentos
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
PALACIO DE BORGELLÁ
SUN DIAL
RUINS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY
*Monuments from old html web site not yet added to the new site:
Alcazar de Colón/ Columbus Palace
Altar de la Patria/ Altar of the Nation
Atarazanas (Las)/ The Atarazanas
Monument to Fray Anton de Montesinos
Palacio Consistorial
Puerta el Conde/ Door of the Conde
Puerta de la Misericordia/ Gate of Mercy
Puerta de las Atarazans
Puerta de San Diego/ Gate of St. James
Residencia de Ovando/ Governor Nicolás Ovando’s Residence
Ruinas (ruins) El Hospital San Nicolás de Bari

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
*Forts from old html web site not yet added to the new site:
Fuerte Invencible
Fuerte de la Caridad/ Fort of Charity
Fuerta de la Concepcion
Fuerte de San Anton
Fuerte de San Gil/ Fort of San Gil
Fuerte de San José/ Fort of St. Jose
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
Museo Alcazar de Colon
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

*Parks and Plazas from old html web site not yet added to the new site:
Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery Avenue Independencia (Picture album – Cementerio Nacional)
Malecón – The seaside road
Park or Plaza of Fortelaza San Jose
Parque Colón/ Columbus Park
Parque Duarte
Parque Independencia/ Independence Park
Plaza de España or Plaza de Armas
Plaza María de Toledo
Plaza at Ermita de San Anton and Fort San Francisco
Plaza Bartolomé de las Casas
Plazoleta Padre Billini
Plazoleta y Callejónde los Curas/ Plaza and Alley of the Cures

STATUES
Poet Julia de Burgos

STREETS/CALLES
CALLE EL CONDE
CALLE LAS DAMAS
*Streets and Calles from old html web site not yet added to the new site:
Calle las Damas – Escaleras de las Damas/ Street and Stairs of The Ladies
Calle Hostos

Montecino The Man And Monument

Fray Antón de Montesino (1475 – 1540), the Defender of Los Indios.

Fray Antón de Montesino is best known for his historic defense of the Taino Indians and other Indigenous persons of the islands of the Carribean and around the world. He courageously spoke against the abuses done to the native peoples of the island in a famous sermon made in 1511. He was one of the first persons to speak out for defending human rights starting the fight around the world.

Fray Antón de Montesino Monument
Fray Antón de Montesino Monument

Fray Antón de Montesino | Montecinos Sermon | The Monument Frey Antón de Montecinos | Playa Placer | Location

Fray Antón de Montesino

(some references say Montecinos and also Antonio Montesino.)

In the years of 1494 and 1495 Cristóbal Columbus carried out military campaigns to force the Taínos (the original native inhabitants of the island) to be put under the rule of the Catholic Kings and to serve the Spaniards. The Taínos caught at this time were forced to work in the gold mines and wherever else their labors were needed. During the time of Columbus they were treated as less than human as if they were property instead of human beings. Even though Corona had declared in 1501 that the Taínos were free and that should not be mistreated, nobody listened or obeyed him. The Indians were considered below animals and without souls.

The Monument of Fray Antón de Montesino
The Monument of Fray Antón de Montesino

The Spanish continued to use and abuse the original inhabitants of the island. in 1503 Nicholas de Ovando, the abusive governor of the island, told the queen that if he did not use the Indians to work for them in the mines the island would become depopulated and all the business therein would be lost. Since the Kings were more interested in obtaining gold to fund the expenses in Europe, the abuse of the Indians was made legal by Corona. He continued to permit the Indians to be slaves for the Spaniards and to work the mines and the farms. In turn for this legalization, the Spaniards were ordered to teach the Tainos about the Catholic ways. The permission was given the 20 of December of 1503. Thus began the “Sistema de las Encomiendas en la Española (the system of Economics of Spain). This was the start of the true abuse of the Indians.

The Natives who managed to live after serving as slaves in the mines or fields under forced labor were desperate and lost hope. Many committed mass suicides. Many died from disease and starvation. In 1508 when a census of Indians was taken. It found that there were only 60,000 of the original 400,000 left of the natives that were counted when Columbus came onto the island for the first time only sixteen years before. The loss of the labor force hurt the Spanish and their gold mining. It was decided to bring in the Indians of the Lucayas Islands to restock their supply of laborers. In time, because of the Spaniard’s cruel treatment of the indigenous peoples and King Fernando’s insatiable thirst for gold, these indigenous peoples also died off.

Fray Antón de Montesino spoke out for the rights of the natives
Fray Antón de Montesino spoke out for the rights of the natives

Friars Arrival

The Friars arrival to the settlement started a change. Montecinos who was ordained in 1509, joined the first group of Dominican missionaries in 1510 who were heading to the “New World”. This was the state Fray Antón de Montesino found upon his and the Dominican order or Friars arrival on the island La Española. The Friars saw first hand the horrific treatment, the life of shortage and the forced labor of the Indians. Immediately the friars started to fight in favor of these victims to give the indigenous people rights equal to those of the Spaniards.

A quote from Montesino speach displayed inside the monument
A quote from Montesino speach displayed inside the monument

Montecinos Sermon

“I am the voice of Christ who cries out in the desert of this island. This voice says all are in mortal sin and live and die in it, for the cruelty and tyranny you use on these innocent people. Say what right and justice do you keep in such cruel and horrible servitude these Indians?”

These words were part of the sermon given by Fray Antón de Montesinos on the first Sunday of Advent, the 30 of November of 1511, in the presence of Sir Diego Columbus in the Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos. The sermon was based on the Gospel of Saint Matthew 3:3. All the top officials and authority figures were present. In a full speech of admonition with all sins described in detail, the titled sermon “Ego Vox Clamantis in deserto”, was signed by all the friars of the order. They demanded of the Spaniards to give rights and justice to the Taínos, condemning the oppression against them. The scandal was enormous. All were astonished by the boldness of Fray Antón de Montesinos. (The Sermón de Antonio de Montesinos.)

Fray Pedro de Córdoba, head of the order, promised that Montesinos would make a full retraction in his next sermon. Of course, that did not happen. On the second Sunday from Advent, the 7th of December, Montesinos continued his attack on these atrocities in even harsher words.

Montesino spoke out for human rights
Montesino spoke out for human rights

Return To Spain

In 1512 Montecino returned to Spain and was sent to court. After great difficulties, Montesinos managed to see the King and was able to explain the terrible situation. The King held a town meeting, composed by theologians and jurists, to discuss and make a judgment on the case.

Montesinos fought and won.

The Government dictated the results in the Laws of Towns, regulating the work of the Indians yet still forcing them to work as before. The Spaniards and Montesinos continued to fight because these laws did nothing to resolve the situation. Finally, the Government of Cisneros Cardinal created “El Gobierno de los Gerónimos” to mediate between both parties and to create laws in favor of the natives. The laws were created but never applied. The plans of el Gobierno de los Gerónimos / Government of the Jerónimos failed.

Montesino monument
Montesino monument

Montesino died in Venezuela on June 27, 1540. He never saw his dream of equality come to pass. He became the author of the first official reclamation of freedom and equality of the people of America. The exact circumstances of the death of Fray Antón Montesino, the Defender of Los Indios, is unknown.

A Reenactment video of the Sermón de Montesinos en La Española video.


A video of the sermon the Fray gave in Santo Domingo December 21, 1511/ Sermón de Fray Antonio Montesinos predicado en la Isla La Española el 21 de diciembre de 1511.

View of the Montecino Monument in the distance
View of the Montecino Monument in the distance

Interesting bits of information

*The speech of Montecino influenced Bartolomé de Las Casas to get rid of his Native slaves and start fighting for their rights.
*There is a Fray Antón de Montecinos Award from the Alumni Association of the University of Santo Domingo in New York City. This award is given annually to a Dominican professional who lives in the United States. This person must substantially enhance the reputation of the Dominican Republic through their work. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize and a replica of a statue of Montesinos.
*The Friar and martyr returned to Hispaniola and continued to work there and in Puerto Rico. In 1521 he founded, along with other Dominicans, a convent in the town of San Juan Bautista de la Isleta, the basis of the first university in Puerto Rico founded in 1532.
*In 1528, Montesinos went to Venezuela with a mission along with other Dominicans

Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos
Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos

The Monument Frey Antón de Montecinos

The stone and bronze statue found on the Malecon of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The monument is near the harbor on the far end of the Colonial Zone. It can be seen looming in the horizon at the entrance to the Ozama River. The statue was designed by Mexican sculptor Antonio Castellanos. It is almost 15 feet (4.57 meters) tall. The statue was gifted to the Dominican people by the Mexican government when Lopez Portillo was president of Mexico. The monument to Frey Antón de Montecinos was inaugurated in 1982.

Stairs inside the Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos
Stairs inside the Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos

The sculpture of Montecinos rests on the upper deck of the building built of limestone and concrete. It was designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez. The monument, including the height or the statue, measures 30 meters or almost 100 feet tall. The original plan was for the structure to house a cultural center. That plan is finally being worked on and is being constructed now. The Marines guard the monument. The view from the top of the structure shows the entrance to Rio Ozama and the Caribbean Sea. You can also see much of the Colonial City.

Playa Placer de los Estudios. The locals call it Playa Placer or Playita Montecinos.
Playa Placer de los Estudios. The locals call it Playa Placer or Playita Montecinos.

Playa Placer de los Estudios

There is a small beach beside the monument of Montecinos. The original name of this beach is Playa Placer de los Estudios. The locals call it Playa Placer or Playita Montecinos.

Part of Playa Placer is very shaded with large palms and there are also many noni trees. You can usually see baseball players practicing their running in the sand or people exercising or walking their dogs.

The beach area runs from the port of Santo Domingo to the coral cliffs that line the Malecon. There is a lot of runoff from the city of garbage and sewage. When there is any storm or hard rain it washes the trash down from the Rio Ozama and it accumulates here. It is so sad to see. It is not advisable to swim on this beach.

Playa Placer de los Estudios. The locals call it Playa Placer or Playita Montecinos.
Playa Placer de los Estudios. The locals call it Playa Placer or Playita Montecinos.

Location

View from Fuerte San Jose  Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos
View from Fuerte San Jose Monument dedicated to Frey Anton de Montecinos

The monument honoring Montecino is located on Paseo President Billini where it changes to Avenida George Washington, better known as The Malecon, next to the Port of Santo Domingo on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of Rio Ozama. Sometimes crossing the Malecon can be dangerous. Facing Montecion walk left along the Malecon and there is a pedestrian bridge at the port that crosses this busy road.

Fuerte and Parque San José

Fuerte y Parque de San José/ Fort and Park San Jose

The Fuerte San José is a beautifully restored fort located in the historic Colonial City. The Parque San Jose is a well-kept park. It is the perfect place to relax. You can watch some young people do some skateboarding or enjoy a game of basketball all under the beautiful shade trees located throughout the park.

Fuerte San José | Parque San José | Location

Fuerte de San José, shooting platform, cannons and watchtowers with the view of the Monument Montecino.
Fuerte de San José, shooting platform, cannons and watchtowers with the view of the Monument Montecino.

The Fuerte San José

was part of a series of bastions built to defend the walled city of Santo Domingo in the 16th century. It was part of the walls that ran along the Caribbean Sea and was an important part of the protection from attacks by sea.

The rectangular shaped fort San José
The rectangular shaped fort San José

Fuerte San José was built near the mouth of the Rio Ozama. The strategic placement of this fort was to watch the comings and goings at the mouth of Rio Ozama. The rectangular shaped fort has an artillery platform that was equipped on 3 sides with cannons. Its two watchtowers (garitas redondas) lookout out points gave a great view of the surrounding sea and land. There was also a lighthouse located in the fort at the entrance to the Rio Ozama that guided ships into the mouth of the river.

Fort San José and the Faro (lighthouse) in the early 1900's.
Fort San José and the Faro (lighthouse) in the early 1900’s.

It is important to remember that the road (The Malecon) in front of the fort did not exist at that time. It was built later by President-Dictator Trujillo. During the time of the colonization of Santo Domingo the water came up to the walls of these seaside forts. Now the walls are surrounded by a road.

Looking to Fort San José from the front.
Looking to Fort San José from the front.

Construction of Fort San Jose began in the mid 1500’s and took over 2 centuries to complete. The walls were built first by president Alonso de Fuenmayor who had some serious money problems and could not complete construction. Finally, at the beginning of the 17th century, the wall of this important fort was finished. Finishing the wall ensured that the seafront was fully protected by connecting the forts San Gil, San Fernando, San Carlos, Santa Catalina to San José. San Gil and San José were the largest of these forts that provided the main defense of the city of Santo Domingo.

View of Fuerte and Parque San José from Calle 19 de Marzo
View of Fuerte and Parque San José from Calle 19 de Marzo

Parque San José

In the 1940’s the deteriorating fort was restored and a beautiful shaded park was created surrounding the bastion. Parque San José is a place where locals like to gather to enjoy a time of rest and to visit friends and family. There are all types of nice places for you to sit and relax and enjoy the view.

Friends, family and pets enjoying the shade in Parque San José.
Friends, family and pets enjoying the shade in Parque San José.
Parque San José. Relax and enjoy the view.
Parque San José. Relax and enjoy the view.
The view of Montecinos from Fuerte San José
The view of Montecinos from Fuerte San José

You can climb the shooting ramp to the elevated platform of the old Fort San José. Here you can have a perfect view of the statue of Fray Anton de Montecino.

Parque San José Ornamental Fountain
Parque San José Ornamental Fountain

Located in the center of the larger part of the park is an Ornamental Fountain that the United States gifted to the Dominican Republic. It was placed here to mark the 100 year centennial anniversary of the country’s independence and the expulsion of the Haitian government from the country.

Fuerte San José and the Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument and the Skateboard Park
Fuerte San José and the Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument and the Skateboard Park

Facing Ave. George Washington in the park is the Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument. You can see this beautiful monument that symbolizes the arrival of Japanese Immigrants to Dominican Republic.

Fort San Jose Basketball court and Skateboard parks.
Fort San Jose Basketball court and Skateboard parks.

There is Montecino Skateboard Park in the Parque San José located on the Malecon near to Calle Arz Meriño. You can see many skate events or watch someone having a good time skating on the ramps and jumps of the park. You can always bring your board and have a go.

Under the street Jose Gabriel Garcia is The Cueva de las Golondrinas next to the Basketball Court
Under the street Jose Gabriel Garcia is The Cueva de las Golondrinas next to the Basketball Court

A Basketball Court is also located in the park on the corners of The Malecon, Calle Arz Meriño and Jose Gabriel Garcia where you can watch the game from above. If you go down to the court level there are small rooms under the street. This is known as The Cueva de las Golondrinas / Cave of Swallows. This is an underground storage place for equipment, street signs and there is a small police station.

Fortaleza and Parque San José along Calle Jose Gabriel Garcia.
Fortaleza and Parque San José along Calle Jose Gabriel Garcia.

Location:

From Calle El Conde walk towards the sea on Calle 19 de Marzo or Meriño to the Malecon. The Fort – Park is located between these 2 streets running along the Malecon in front of the monument Fray Anton de Montesino. Between Avenida George Washington (Paseo Presidente Billini – Malecon) and Jose Gabriel Garcia and Calle 19 de Marzo, Ciudad Colonial.

Japanese Immigration Monument

Monumento a la Inmigración Agrícola Japonesa en la República Dominicana. / Monument to the Japanese Agricultural Immigration in the Dominican Republic.

Monumento a la Inmigración Agrícola Japonesa en la República Dominicana. / Monument to the Japanese Agricultural Immigration in the Dominican Republic.
Monumento a la Inmigración Agrícola Japonesa en la República Dominicana. / Monument to the Japanese Agricultural Immigration in the Dominican Republic.

The Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument symbolizes the arrival of the first families that came to the Dominican Republic from Japan. These persons came to this country at the end of the Second World War because of an immigration agreement between the Dominican Republic and the Japanese Governments. The Japanese immigrants came to the Dominican Republic with the dream of building a new life for themselves and their families through agriculture and working the earth.

Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument symbolizes the arrival of the first families that came to the Dominican Republic from Japan
Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument symbolizes the arrival of the first families that came to the Dominican Republic from Japan

The monument, located in the Plaza Inmigración Agrícola Japonesa, is the work of Japanese artist Hokuyu Narahara and the dream of Mr. Toru Takegama who is a representative for the Japanese immigrants.

Japanese Agricultural Immigration Plaza and Monument
Japanese Agricultural Immigration Plaza and Monument

The inscription on the monument reads:

“Hecho histórico del inicio de la inmigración agrícola japonesa en la República Dominicana desde el año 1956, por canje de notas diplomáticas entre los Gobiernos de la República Dominicana y del Japón, deseando la eterna confraternidad entre ambos países.
29 de julio de 2012 Comité Gestor del Monumento a la Inmigración”

Commemorating the Historical start of Japanese agricultural immigration in the Dominican Republic since the year 1956, by an exchange of notes between the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Japan, desiring eternal brotherhood between the two countries.
July 29, 2012, Managing Committee of the Monument to the Immigration.

Fuerte San Jose and the Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument
Fuerte San Jose and the Japanese Agricultural Immigration Monument

Location:

From Calle El Conde walk towards the sea on Calle 19 de Marzo or Meriño to the Malecon. It is located at the Fuerte San Jose in front of the monument Fray Anton de Montesino. Avenida George Washington (Paseo Presidente Billini – Malecon) and Jose Gabriel Garcia, Ciudad Colonial.