Tag Archives: history

Then & Now – Cine Max

Then & Now / Antes & Ahora – Cine Max is now the Iglesia Pentecostal Church Dios es Amor

The Teatro or Cine Max, originally called El Travieso, is located in Barrio Chino / Chinatown. It was one of the big movie theaters of its time. In fact, it was the second largest cinema in the city of Santo Domingo. The cinema was known for the yummy goodies, including crispy fried platanos, they sold to the clientele. They were famous for their very large lobby. The cinema also had large fans for cooling and a side exit to keep movie goers coming and going easily. Thank you Historia Dominicana En Graficas for the picture.

Cine Max on Av. Duarte in Santo Domingo 1959.
Cine Max on Av. Duarte in Santo Domingo 1959.

The Iglesia Pentecostal Dios es Amor (IPDA.com.do) now occupies the old Cinema Max building. The Pentecostal church is open daily. The interior still has much of the same look as the old cinema.

The Iglesia Pentecostal Dios es Amor in Barrio Chino used to be Cine Max.
The Iglesia Pentecostal Dios es Amor in Barrio Chino used to be Cine Max.

Location: Av. Duarte between Av. Mella and Calle Benito Gonzales, Barrio Chino (Chinatown). It is just 1 block from La Sirena and the Colonial Zone.


Villalobos History – Home

Marcelo de Villalobos

Marcelo de Villalobos. Born in Seville in 1480 – Died in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), 1526. He was part of the first Audience of Santo Domingo. He was one of the 3 original judges appointed by the Queen of Spain sent to the city of Santo Domingo. Villalobos ended up dying in debt to the city and the crown.

Villalobos Short History | Villalobos Home

Villalobos Short History

Marcelo de Villalobos was born in Seville around 1480, the son of Diego de Villalobos and Aldonza de Vera, where he studied law. On October 5, 1511, a Royal Provision, signed by Queen Doña Juana, created an Audiencia y Juzgado / Audience and Court on Hispaniola. He, Juan Ortiz de Matienzo and Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, were appointed juez de Apelaciones de la dicha “Audiencia y Juzgado” / judge of Appeals of the said “Audience and Court”.

At the end of February 1512 Villalobos left for the Indies, taking with him nine men. After a fairly lengthy stay in the Canary Islands, he and his wife, noble lady, Isabel de Manrique arrived in Santo Domingo. They brought their many servants along. On July 9, 1512 the viceroy Diego Colón gave him possession on Santo Domingo.

Villalobos owned over two hundred Indians, which he used to work in the Cotuí mines. He gained his own home and herds of sheep and cows. He took part in the Slave Trade markets. For all of this and more, he was tried for abuse of power.

Villalobos died on July 25, 1526. He was deeply in debt to the city of Santo Domingo. The crown sought to collect from his family, but because of the devastating hurricane of October 6, 1526, they suspended all financial obligations for a year. Finally, on January 1528, the bailiff took possession, from his daughters, of the domicile of the Villalobos on behalf of His Majesty.

Read the complete history of Marcelo de Villalobos in Spanish.

Villalobos Home

Marcelo De Villalobos home where he died located on Arz. Meriño in the Colonial Zone
Marcelo De Villalobos home where he died located on Arz. Meriño in the Colonial Zone

The house where Marcelo de Villalobos lived and died is located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño (near Mercedes and the Parking Garage) in the Colonial Zone. All that is there to recognize this home is a plaque on the wall.

The plaque on the wall of the home reads
“Esta casa fue la morada del Licenciado Marcelo de Villalobos. Primer jues de la corte de apelacion en la isla de la Española y el nuevo mundo, en los comienzo del siglo XVI (1512 – 1526). Fray Vincente Rubio” /
This house was the abode of Mr. Marcelo de Villalobos. First judge of the court of appeal on the island of Hispaniola and the new world, at the beginning of the 16th century (1512 – 1526). Fray Vincente Rubio.

The sign on the wall of the house where Marcelo de Villalobos lived and died
The sign on the wall of the house where Marcelo de Villalobos lived and died


Cementerio Nacional Avenida Independencia

Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

The Cementerio Nacional on Ave. Independencia, Santo Domingo, is the first national cemetery in the Dominican Republic. They inaugurated it during the Haitian occupation by Haitian President Jean Pierre Boyer, August 29, 1824. The cemetery has been closed since 1965. The last persons interred there were constitutional soldiers who died during the civil war.

Center path through the Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
Center path through the Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

This large gated cemetery, with an area of ​​16,000 square meters and 3,275 graves, has been around for over 500 years. Surrounded by a wall, it was a commonplace to execute people. María Trinidad Sánchez and Antonio Duvergé were both executed here.

Graves and tombs  Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
Graves and tombs Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

Persons Buried in the Cemetery

Buried beneath the soil is history in abundance. Yet we will never know all who are buried in this disorganized resting place as many of the graves are not marked and have been destroyed by time and looters. 

A monument dedicated to the loss of a child at the Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
A monument dedicated to the loss of a child at the Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

Buried in the Cementerio Nacional are many of the founders and the people who created Santo Domingo. There are people who died because of different plagues that spread throughout the country. Many of those interred here are children and infants. Represented here are the dead from hurricane San Zenón that took. They have laid many races and nationalities to rest in this bleak but interesting place. There are people from the Haitian occupation buried here with their tombstones written in French. Buried here are casualties from many wars and conflicts that occurred in the Dominican Republic including, The War of Restauración, Annexation to Spain, The War of Independence, The Intervention of the US Marines (6 Marines are buried here). There are tombs of many of the Dominican Republic Presidents here including Francisco Gregorio Billini Aristy, El Padre Billini and José Núñez de Cáceres (1772-1846). 

This link has a list of all the people interred at the Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia. Censo de Tumbas en el Cementerio Viejo de Santo Domingo de la Av. Independencia.

The moving monument to Lusia Ozema Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
The moving monument to Lusia Ozema Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia/ National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

Ignored Historical Site

The Cementerio Nacional de la Avenida Independencia was declared a Patrimonio Cultural/ Cultural Patrimony historical site in 1987. It is still highly ignored by the Dominican people. Street people can be seen sleeping on pieces of cardboard outside the gates at night. There are rats scurrying along doing who knows what in the dark cemetery.

There was a proposed restoration of the National Cemetery in July 2012 that never happened. Story on the Colonial Zone News Blog.

Passing by in the daylight one can always see dogs inside the gates. Sleeping on a grave. Could it be the grave of its master? One day I saw a dog lying atop a grave chewing on a large bone. Makes one think…

The dogs occuping the National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
The dogs occuping the National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

I urge everyone to visit this interesting yet sad cemetery. Take a walk, view the tombs and the strange grave markers from times past. But, please only go in the daylight hours and be cautious of your surroundings.

I made a picture slide show of the Cementerio Nacional with many pictures and information of this Historical National Monument.

A toppled cross grave at the National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia
A toppled cross grave at the National Cemetery on Avenue Independencia

Location:

Go to the beginning (west) of the Conde at Independencia Park. Turn left (south) walking in front of the park. Take the first road to the right (south), Ave. Independencia (at the end of Arz. Nouel the street name changes), and continue walking up this street (away from the Colonial Zone). The cemetery is 2 blocks up on the left.