Category Archives: Statues/Sculptures

Puerta de la Misericordia

Puerta de la Misericordia / Door of Mercy

The Puerta de la Misericordia, originally named Puerta de Santiago and Puerta Grande, was the first fortified gate of the city of Santo Domingo. The lone wall was once part of the original wall that ran along the edge of the First city in the Americas, from Puerta del Conde (Parque Independencia) to Fuerte San Gil at the edge of the sea.

Announcing Independence February 27, 1844 | The Statue of General Matías Ramón Mella

Puerta de la Misericordia panoramic view in  2013
Puerta de la Misericordia panoramic view in 2013

The door was designed by the architect Rodrigo de Liendo and constructed in 1543; the bulwarks were added in 1568. In the colonial period, the gate served as access to the great plains of the south. The wall was connected to and protected by the military of the Fuerte de San Gil which is located just a few hundred feet south at the shore of the Caribbean.

Puerta de la Misericordia panoramic with the flag of Dominican Republic flying proudly above.
Puerta de la Misericordia panoramic with the flag of Dominican Republic flying proudly above.

The gate received its current name, Puerta Misericordia (Gate of Mercy), in 1842. At this time the survivors of the many earthquakes and storms that occurred on the island gathered here to place the Blessed Sacrament thanking God for his mercy.

Puerta de la Misericordia in the early morning.
Puerta de la Misericordia in the early morning.

Announcing Independence February 27, 1844

The Puerta de la Misericordia is the place that Ramón Matías Mella fired his legendary blunderbuss (a muzzle-loading firearm) of February 27, 1844, to announce the independence of the Dominican Republic from Haiti after taking back the Fortaleza Ozama. At the same time of this shot, Francisco del Rosario Sanchez hoisted the Dominican flag in the Fortaleza.

Puerta de la Misericordia look out tower accessed by the catwalk.
Puerta de la Misericordia look out tower accessed by the catwalk.

Interesting Facts

*Near the door is a courtyard that held a scaffold used to execute those who were condemned to death. At one time there was a small chapel located in the courtyard.

*During the archaeological excavations in 1980, two small fortines (semicircular forts) that once flanked the walls were discovered.

*Located in the small plaza is a statue of Ramón Matías Mella, one of the Founding Fathers of the country.

The statue of Ramón Matías Mella at the Puerta de la Misericordia
The statue of Ramón Matías Mella at the Puerta de la Misericordia

The area surrounding the gate is now a nice little place to visit. You can sit and enjoy the view of the Fort San Gil and the Caribbean Sea located across the Malecon. There is also a Colmado across the street where you can get a little refreshment after walking around the Colonial City. You can notice that there is a catwalk over the top of the wall but it is blocked. Some of the original wall has been cut to make room for the street to pass making accessing the walk difficult.

The view of the Gate of Mercy from Calle Padre Billini with Palo Hincado passing in front.
The view of the Gate of Mercy from Calle Padre Billini with Palo Hincado passing in front.

Directions:

From The Calle el Conde at Parque Independencia walk towards the sea on Calle Palo Hincado the street that separates Ciudad Colonial from Ciudad Nueva. Calle Arzobispo Portes stops at the door.

Plaza Patriótica at the Puerta de la Misericordia honoring General Matías Ramón Mella
Plaza Patriótica at the Puerta de la Misericordia honoring General Matías Ramón Mella

The Statue of General Matías Ramón Mella

Plaza Patriótica / Patriotic Square
General Matías Ramón Mella
February 25, 1816 – June 4, 1864

Located in front of Puerta Misericordia was a bust statue Ramón Matías Mella, one of the Founding Fathers of the Republica Dominicana. It was replaced with a full body statue honoring the anniversary of Mellas birth.

Close up of the statue honoring General Matías Ramón Mella
Close up of the statue honoring General Matías Ramón Mella

The plaque on the statue monument reads:
En homenaje al Padre de la Patria,
General Matías Ramón Mella
Héroe de la Independencia y de la
Restauración de la República Dominicana,
considerado el más grande genio y
estratega militar dominicano
de todos los tiempos.
Político liberal. Independentista eterno.

(English translation)
In homage to the Father of the Nation,
General Matías Ramón Mella
Hero of Independence and the
Restoration of the Dominican Republic,
considered the greatest genius and
Dominican military strategist
of all times.
Liberal politician. Eternal independence.

CPEP
Comision Permanente / Permanent Commission
From Efemerides Patrias

Proyecto Patriótico de Cultura Cívica / Patriotic Civic Culture Project
Foundación Luces y Sombras

Bicentenario de su natalicio / Bicentennial of his birth
25 Febrero 2016

Gobierno Constitucional
Lic. Danilo Medina Sánchez
2012-2016

The bust of General Matías Ramón Mella what was replaced by the statue.
The bust of General Matías Ramón Mella what was replaced by the statue.

The bust of Sanchez that was replaced by the statue read:

Gobierno Constitucional
Dr. Leonel Fernández
2004-2008

Then & Now – Fountain Monument

Then & Now – Ornamental Fountain Monument / Monumento De Fuente Ornamental

The Ornamental Fountain was gifted to the Dominican Republic by the United States in on February 27, 1944. This fountain was given to mark the 100 year centennial anniversary of the country’s independence and the expulsion of the Haitian government from the country.

Ornamental Fountain Monument / Monumento De Fuente Ornamental was gifted to the Dominican Republic by the United States in on February 27, 1944
Ornamental Fountain Monument / Monumento De Fuente Ornamental was gifted to the Dominican Republic by the United States in on February 27, 1944 (Picture is from Imágenes de Nuestra Historia, R.D)
Ornamental Fountain Monument  Monumento De Fuente Ornamental in Parque San Jose today.
Ornamental Fountain Monument Monumento De Fuente Ornamental in Parque San Jose today.

The Fountain reads –

“1844 – 1944

Los Ciudadnos Americanos en la Republica Dominicana al pueblo Dominicano en prueba de amistad y admiracion su primer centenario.”

Translated to English – The American Citizens in the Dominican Republic to the Dominican people in proof of friendship and admiration its first centenary.

Ornamental Fountain Monument / Monumento De Fuente Ornamental in Parque San Jose close.
Ornamental Fountain Monument / Monumento De Fuente Ornamental in Parque San Jose close.

The after picture is from a news article which reads –

“Bella fuente ornamental construida por la Colonia Norteamericana radicada en la República y obsequiada al pueblo y Gobierno dominicanos como demostración de simpatías en la fecha conmemorativa del Primer Centenario de la Independencia Nacional. Este significativo monumento se encuentra situado junto a la Avenida U.S. Marine Corps, en un parquecito triangular que hace fuente con el Club de la Juventud de Ciudad Trujillo.”

Translated to English – “Beautiful ornamental fountain built by the Colony North American based in the Republic and given to the Dominican people and Government as a demonstration of sympathy on the commemorative date of the First Centennial of National Independence. This significant monument is located next to Avenida U.S. Marine Corps, in a triangular little park that makes a fountain with the Club de la Juventud of Ciudad Trujillo.”

Location

The fountain is located in Parque San Jose between Calles Jose Gabriel Garcia, El Malecon and 19 de Marzo. It is not a fountain any longer. It looks like a big loving cup. It holds the neighborhood Christmas tree and from time to time a plant tries to grow inside.

Parque Pellerano Castro – Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano Castro – Parque Rosado

Located in a quiet part of Ciudad Colonial is the nice little Plaza Parque Pellerano Castro. It is also known by the locals as Parque Rosado / Pink Park and Parquecito De Los Poetas / Poets Park. Whatever you call it, this out of the way park is a nice place to rest relax.

The relaxing parque Pellerano Castro also known as Parque Rosado
The relaxing parque Pellerano Castro also known as Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano CastroArturo Bautista Pellerano CastroPoet Julia de Burgos

Nice private benches for relaxing at Parque Rosado
Nice private benches for relaxing at Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano Castro

The park had a make-over in the 1990s and was remodeled by the architect Manuel S. Gautier. Parque Rosdao /Pink Park, named such because it is painted a soft pink color, is a perfect place to rest in peace and quiet. There are many benches located under beautiful shade trees with hanging creepers giving this park a unique feeling. The other edges of the park have banana, avocado and mango trees. You can also see some chickens running around from time to time. If you’re lucky you may get to meet some of the local dogs who make this park their home.

The local dogs visiting the place where the bust of Pellerano Castro once stood in the park that is his namesake.
The local dogs visiting the place where the bust of Pellerano Castro once stood in the park that is his namesake.

Arturo Bautista Pellerano Castro

This quiet park is named after the poet Arturo Bautista Pellerano Castro, who was also known by the pseudonym of Byron, born in Curazao March 13, 1865 and died in Santo Domingo May 5, 1916. There once was a bust of the poet located in the park. There is a stand where the poets bust was once located with a plaque that commemorates the poet and has a few of his quotes.

The bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado.
The bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado.

Poet Julia de Burgos

(February 17, 1914 – July 6, 1953 (she died of pneumonia in Harlem at the age of 39))

The newest addition to the park is a bust of Julia de Burgos, created by sculpture René Alejandro Guzmán, and inaugurated February 6, 2014.

A close-up of the bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado
A close-up of the bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado

Burgos, a playwright, poet, journalist and activist, is considered to be the most outstanding Puerto Rican poet of the twentieth century. She hung in the circles of intellectuals like Juan Bosch and Dominican politician Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullón, who became an inspiration of many of her best poems. She was a fighter against political injustice. In 1944 she wrote two poems for the centenary of the country: “A la Ciudad Primada de Santo Domingo” and “Hymn to the Blood of Trujillo”.

More of the story of Julia de Burgos.

Plaza Pellerano Castro under the soft lights at 5AM.
Plaza Pellerano Castro under the soft lights at 5AM.

Location: Walking from the eastern end of the Conde turn right towards the sea (north) on Calle Isabel la Católica or Calle Las Damas. Walk to the end of either of these streets and you will run into the park. Located at the intersections of Calles José Gabriel García, Arzobispo Meriño, Isabel La Católica in the Colonial Zone.