Category Archives: Statues/Sculptures

Plaza Monumento a la Caña

Plaza Monumento a la Caña / Sugar Cane Monument Park

The beautiful tree-filled Plaza Monumento a la Caña / Sugar Cane Monument Park is located in Villa Duarte just across the River Ozama from the Colonial Zone. Inside the park are 2 monuments, the Monumento a la Caña/ Sugar Cane Monument and the Monumento Marina de Guerra / Marine Monument.

The beautiful Monumento a la Caña under a spectacular morning sky.
The beautiful Monumento a la Caña under a spectacular morning sky.

The Plaza | Monumento a la Caña | Monumento Marina de Guerra | Location |

Plaza Monumento a la Caña and the Monumento Marina de Guerra both sit in this tree lined park.
Plaza Monumento a la Caña and the Monumento Marina de Guerra both sit in this tree lined park.

The Plaza

The Parque Monumento a la Caña is a favorite among the locals. You can watch some young people dancing or doing some acrobatic moves. There might be a game of Bittila (similar to baseball but played with a plastic water bottle top). There are usually some local dogs lounging around. And of course, the people enjoying the shade, having a picnic, taking a little snooze or visiting with friends and neighbors. The park is well-maintained by the Santo Domingo Este City Council (SDE).

The charming winding stone staircase leading from Av. Malecon to the Plaza.
The charming winding stone staircase leading from Av. Malecon to the Plaza.

The grande stone staircase is the perfect way to enter the park from the road that runs along Rio Ozama. It is on Av. Malecon across from the Marina Bartolomé Colón where many sail and fishing boats are parked. From the top of these long winding stairs, you can have a beautiful view of the river and the Colonial Zone.

Buenagente is enjoying the cool refreshing grass and shade areas of Parque Monumente de la Caña.
Buenagente is enjoying the cool refreshing grass and shade areas of Parque Monumente de la Caña.

On the other side of the Plaza, separated by a road, is the rest of the Plaza. The road divides this lonely part from the main park. It is a part of the park I call it the Annex. It has 3 levels, one is blocked by a fallen tree, that you can walk. It is not well maintained and is sometimes used as a sleeping spot for street people.

Plaza Monumente de la Caña Annex walkways with Inteliperra sniffing the fallen tree blocking one of the paths.
Plaza Monumente de la Caña Annex walkways with Inteliperra sniffing the fallen tree blocking one of the paths.

NOTE: Do not take valuables to this area if you want to walk around. It is not as secured by the police as the Colonial City. It is surrounded by some very poor neighborhoods that are interesting to visit. Also, NEVER GO HERE AFTER DARK. Just to be on the safe side.

Monumento a la Caña / Sugar Cane Monument

A panoramic view of the bronze sculpture Monumento a la Caña in the Plaza.
A panoramic view of the bronze sculpture Monumento a la Caña in the Plaza.

The Sugar Cane Monument consists of a magnificent bronze sculpture that was inaugurated in 1992 by President Dr. Joaquín Balaguer.

The monument dedicated to sugar cane workers under a brightening morning sky.
The monument dedicated to sugar cane workers under a brightening morning sky.

The bronze monument shows six oxen pulling a cart full of sugar cane with a child on top and his mother behind carrying a basket full of Cocoa. The father is the one who guides the animals using a whip. The sculpture depicts the hard work carried out by the colonists, the entire family helping, transporting the raw cane from the field to the mills.

Monumento Marina de Guerra / Marine Monument

Monumento Marina de Guerra is also located in the center of the Plaza Monumento a la Caña
Monumento Marina de Guerra is also located in the center of the Plaza Monumento a la Caña

Monumento Marina de Guerra is also located in the center of the Parque Monumento a la Caña. This monument of a ship’s wheel is dedicated to the remembrance of the Dominican sailors who fell during World War 2. The marble lined monument includes the names of those who fell and it reads:

“El Gobierno Dominicano, La Marina de Guerra, El Patronato Del Faro a Colon, y la Liga Naval Dominicana, rinden tributo de recordación a estos marinos dominicanos que en la segunda guerra mundial ofrendaron sus vidas en el cumplimento del deber. “Por Dios. Por La Patria y Por El Deber” Santo Domingo D.N. Mayo 1999”

The marble lined monument includes the names of those who fell and has a dedication.
The marble lined monument includes the names of those who fell and has a dedication.

NOTE: Do not take valuables to this area if you want to walk around. It is not as secured by police as the Colonial City. It is surrounded by some very poor neighborhoods that are very interesting to visit. Also, NEVER GO HERE AFTER DARK. Just to be on the safe side.

Location

View of the entire Plaza Monumento de la Caña betweeh Av. Malecon and Av. España.
View of the entire Plaza Monumento de la Caña betweeh Av. Malecon and Av. España.

The park is surrounded by Av. Malecon, Calle Maria Trinidad Sanchez and Av. España in Calero, Villa Duarte, Santo Domingo East. It is less than a 10-minute walk from the Puente Flotante/Floating Bridge that connects Santo Domingo to Santo Domingo Este.

Walking from the Colonial Zone cross the Puente Flotante (Floating Bridge). Turn right walking along Rio Ozama. On the left after the large apartment buildings is a staircase that is across from the Marina Bartolomé Colón. You can walk up the stairs and enter the park. If you do not want to go up the steep stairs continue walking to the next road on the left.

Buenagente enjoying the view of the Av. Malecon, Rio Ozama and the Colonial City from atop the stairs of the Plaza Monumento de la Caña.
Buenagente enjoying the view of the Av. Malecon, Rio Ozama and the Colonial City from atop the stairs of the Plaza Monumento de la Caña.

NOTE: I strongly suggest that if you do not want to climb the stairs that you wait to cross the road. The stone wall after the stairs on that section of the road is not secure. Rocks or the entire wall will fall from time to time.

Plaza María de Toledo And History

Plaza María de Toledo

The Plaza María de Toledo is a nice tranquil spot to sit and relax. The Plaza honors the first American Viceroy / Virreina, Doña María de Toledo. A cultural woman who helped make life for the new colony of Santo Domingo a little more proper.

The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool with the statue of Maria de Toledo looking on.
The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool with the statue of Maria de Toledo looking on.

The Plaza | Location | María de Toledo History

The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool
The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool

The Plaza

The brick tiled plaza sits between Calle Las Damas and Isabel la Católica. Benches line the courtyard, making it an ideal place for sitting and relaxing. The newly repaired fountain cascades water into a small reflecting pool. The sculpture of María de Toledo sits in the square in front of the fountain. Originally the statue was located on the side lawn of the Alcazar de Colón in Plaza Espana. They moved the statue to Plaza Maria de Toledo when the plaza was renovated in 2017.

The statue of María de Toledo now sits in the plaza named after the Virreina, Doña María de Toledo
The statue of María de Toledo now sits in the plaza named after the Virreina, Doña María de Toledo

There were 2 homes on the original piece of land. All that remains are the 3 stone arches at the entrance along Las Damas and the 2 arches above the pool. It was originally the residence of the group la Compañía de Jesús until they were expelled from the country.

The home next to the Convento de los Jesuitas (now the Panteón Nacional) that sat where the Plaza María de Toledo is now located. Picture from 1920’s
The home next to the Convento de los Jesuitas (now the Panteón Nacional) that sat where the Plaza María de Toledo is now located. Picture from 1920’s

Every Sunday there is a small Antique Market held in the plaza. Vendors sell their wares including antiques, Taino artifacts, brass pieces, jewelry and other interesting trinkets.

Sunday Antique Market in Plaza María de Toledo.
Sunday Antique Market in Plaza María de Toledo.

Location

Walking up (north) Isabel la Católica from the eastern side of the Conde about 1 block. It is the first open space on the right across from Calle Gregorio Luperon. Walking up Calle las Damas from the Conde, it is the first plaza on the left in front of Governor Nicolás Ovando’s Residence, now a hotel. It is next to the Panteón Nacional.

The red brick Plaza María de Toldeo is a nice place for sitting and relaxing
The red brick Plaza María de Toldeo is a nice place for sitting and relaxing

María de Toledo (born 1490 in Spain – Died May 11, 1549 (aged 58–59) in Santo Domingo

María de Toledo was the wife of the son of Christopher Columbus / Cristóbal Colón, Diego de Colón, II Admiral and II Viceroy of the Indies / II Almirante y II Virrey de Indias. She was the granddaughter of García Álvarez de Toledo, 1st Duke of Alba and the niece of King Ferdinand of Spain.

María was the first person of noble race to arrive on the Spanish island in 1509. She brought class to the colony. Clothes and other fancy items were forbidden in the colony until she arrived. She got special permission from the crown for herself and others to use and wear these items, becoming the central person of the aristocratic society. She also held the title of Viceroy / Virreina and was more powerful and influential than her husband Díego Colon.

María de Toledo was a strong defender of the original inhabitants of the island, the Taino Indians, against the mistreatment of the Spanish. She also fought for the rights of her children after the death of her husband. She was one of the most important female figures in the original colony of 16th century Hispaniola.

The unmarked statue of María de Toldeo used to be on the grassy slope on the side of the Alcázar de Colón. The Columbus Palace was built to be the home of Maria de Toledo and her husband Diego de Colón. She loved being a hostess, receiving guests and entertaining in her royal home.

The statue of María de Toledo sitting in its original location on the side of the Alcazar de Colón, her home in the original colony of Santo Domingo.
The statue of María de Toledo sitting in its original location on the side of the Alcazar de Colón, her home in the original colony of Santo Domingo.

NOTE – I have researched and found varying histories. Some report that María had 7 children and some say 8 children. I cannot find the cause of death or where she was buried when she died in Santo Domingo. If I find this information, I will add it.

More about the history of the Jesuits in Dominican Republic.

More about the history of María de Toledo

Parque Duarte

Parque Duarte

Parque Duarte is a beautiful plaza or park named after Juan Pablo Duarte, a Founding Father of the Dominican Republic. They erected a beautiful bronze statue in the center in honor of this Dominican hero.

The bronze statue of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Dominican Flag in the center of Parque Duarte in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.
The bronze statue of Juan Pablo Duarte and the Dominican Flag in the center of Parque Duarte in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.

Duarte Park | Plaza and Sculpture | Duarte Park – History & Legends | Location

Duarte Park

Parque Duarte is a neighborhood park that is a nice place to sit and wile away an afternoon. Maybe you could even join in a game of dominos. There are benches where you can sit in the shade under a tree, relax and watch the world pass by. It is calm and peaceful during the day.

A relaxing day sitting in the shade with the falling flowers in Parque Duarte
A relaxing day sitting in the shade with the falling flowers in Parque Duarte

When darkness comes this place is overrun by young people partying, drinking and listening to music. There is a Colmado and a few small bars surrounding this park where you can get a cold beer, a mixed drink or whatever type of liquid refreshment you desire. Different food vendors pass through where you can get ice cream, a plate of chicharrones (pork cracklings) and other local type snacks. I call this park “the alternative lifestyle park” as it has a variety of visitors in the evenings. Artists and musicians, bohemian, gay and straight, young and old. A very interesting place to observe and enjoy partying with a variety of humans.

Plaza and Sculpture

Honoring Juan Pablo Duarte on Día de Duarte with wreaths that were placed in his honor.
Honoring Juan Pablo Duarte on Día de Duarte with wreaths that were placed in his honor.

Plaza Duarte was named on November 20, 1891 by the Ayuntamiento of Santo Domingo.

They inaugurated the park and the statue of Duarte in the center of Parque Duarte on July 16, 1930 when Rafael Estrella Ureña was president of the Dominican Republic. Italian sculptor and painter Arturo Tomagnini created the hollow cast polished bronze statue between 1928 – 29 in Italy.

The Diosa de la Victoria / Goddess of Victory sits below the image of Duarte
The Diosa de la Victoria / Goddess of Victory sits below the image of Duarte

The sculptor depicts Juan Pablo Duarte standing with his right hand on his chest at his heart. In his left hand he holds the draft of the constitution. He stands proudly atop the granite and concrete pedestal. Sitting below him is the Diosa de la Victoria / Goddess of Victory. (Diosa de la Victoria (Nike), in Greek Mythology, is the goddess of victory both in war and in peaceful competition.)

Parque Duarte is in front of the Iglesia y Convento de los Dominicos.
Parque Duarte is in front of the Iglesia y Convento de los Dominicos.

Duarte Park – History & Legends

Here are a few legends and historical items that I have found to be very interesting.

*This square in it’s long history has also been known as Plaza Anacaona, Plaza Santo Domingo and Plaza del Exconvento Dominico / Plaza of the Ex-Convict Dominico, Plaza del Convento de los Dominicos.

*Haitian separatists fought for independence at this site in 1843.

*It was the site of bullfights during the celebrations of the Virgen del Rosario.

The beautiful Edificio Elmúdesi is one of the buildings that surround Parque Duarte
The beautiful Edificio Elmúdesi is one of the buildings that surround Parque Duarte

*Edificio Elmúdesi, built by Benigno Trueba in 1936, is one of the historical buildings that surround Parque Duarte. The building was the home and clinic of Doctor Antonio Elmúdesi. The Elmúdesi building is part of the architectural heritage of the Dominican Republic.

*In the 19th century, this was the place chosen by the Trinitaria to meet and begin a conspiracy against the Haitian occupation that took place between 1822 and 1844.

People relaxing under the trees of Parque Duarte. Some are enjoying a cold beer and others are just enjoying the ambiance
People relaxing under the trees of Parque Duarte. Some are enjoying a cold beer and others are just enjoying the ambiance.

*Legend says that the queen of Jaragua, Taino Anacaona, was hanged here but it has never been proven.

*Sir Francis Drake and his followers hung to death the Dominican Fathers Juan de Caravia and Juan de Illanes in 1586.

Location

Panoramic view of Parque Duarte from Calle Duarte and Padre Billini.
Panoramic view of Parque Duarte from Calle Duarte and Padre Billini.

Calle Padre Billini, on the corners of Duarte y Hostos, in the center of the Colonial Zone. The park faces the Iglesia y Convento de Los Dominicos and the Capilla de la Tercera Orden Dominica, where the first university of the New World was founded in 1538.

Walking – From the Conde turn south onto Padre Billini or Duarte. Walk in the direction of the sea. It is about 2 blocks from Calle el Conde.