Tag Archives: island

Historical Maps

Old Antique Maps of Colonial Zone / Mapas Antiguos de la Zona Colonial

I have added some very old maps of the Dominican Republic when what is now Dominican Republic was named Hispaniola or was only known as Santo Domingo. It is interesting to see Colonial Zone when it was fresh and new (here is a historical document I found where the writer describes the city and island). The maps of the entire country are interesting to compare.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I found them.

1.Original City of Santo Domingo | 2.Plan du siège de Santo Domingo | 3.Louis Drake Mountains Map | 4.Joseph Spear Map | 5.Sir Francis Drakes Early Voyages

Original City of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo 1755 – Stadt St. Domingo. C. F. Fritzsch, sculp. Chedel, del. 1755

A drawing of the original city of Santo Domingo – Colonial Zone. It is interesting to note the way the buildings look at this time and to notice that many of them are still the same today.

The maps name is: Stadt St. Domingo. C. F. Fritzsch, sculp. Chedel, del. This map is thought to be created and published by Leipzig in 1755. It is a perspective map and not drawn to scale. This is a birds-eye-view of the original fort which is now the Colonial Zone.

The map is located in the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA
The digital ID of this map is: g4954s ct000107 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g4954s.ct000107

Plan du siège de Santo Doming[o] par Dess[a]lines, chef des révoltes de St. Domingue, forme le 15 ventôse et levé le 8 germinal an 13.

Plan du siège de Santo Doming[o] 1805

This map was created/published in 1805. It is a relief map showing the shadows and depth perspective. It is a pen and watercolor drawing. I cropped this section out of the map to show the Colonial City. It is interesting to see the buildings and the outskirts of the city. There seems to be nothing out there.

The full version that can be found in the Library of Congress
This map is stored in the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA
Digital ID: g4954s ct000102 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g4954s.ct000102

Louis Drake Mountains Map

Louis Drake Mountains Map 1752

Map Title: North America, performed under the patronage of Louis Duke of Orleans, First Prince of the Blood; by the Sieur d’Anville, greatly improved by Mr. Bolton. Engraved by R. W. Seale. For Mr. Postlethwayte’s Dictionary of trade and commerce. Gravelot, delin; Walker, sculp. Created/Published: [London] Printed for John and Paul Knapton, 1752.

It is interesting to see in this map the shape of the island and the names of the towns. if you look at the other maps of the islands each has the island shaped a little differently.

Hand colored. Relief is shown pictorially. Shows provinces, cities and towns, forts, Indian villages and tribal territory. Also shows shoals, banks, and other navigational hazards off the coast of Nova Scotia and in the Caribbean area.
Repository: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA
Map call number: G3300 1752 .B62 Vault
The Maps Digital ID: g3300 ar001300 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3300.ar001300

Joseph Spear Map

Joseph Spear map 1744

To His Royal Highness. George Augustus Frederick. Prince of Wales &c. &c. &c. This chart of the West Indies, is humbly inscribed by His Royal Highness faithful & obedient servant Joseph Smith Speer. Thos. Bowen, sculpt. Speer, Joseph Smith. Created/Published: Westminster, 1774.

It is interesting to see the names of the towns at that time. Also, Dominican Republic seems to have been known as Santo Domingo.

Relief shown pictorially. Depths are shown by soundings. Shows southern United States, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, Bermudas, and northern South America. Includes acknowledgment dated Jan. 25, 1774 at Plantation Office, Whitehall by John Pownall, secry.
Repository: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA
Map call number: G4390 1774 .S62 Vault Oversize
Maps digital ID: g4390 ar169900 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g4390.ar169900

Sir Francis Drakes Early Voyages

Privateer Drake visited many parts of the island of Hispaniola and also other parts of the West Indies (as the area was called at that time).

Sir Francis Drake PDF Map (opens in a new window). Click on the maps to enlarge.

More information on Sir Francis Drake

Dominican Food

Dominican Republic Food

1.Breakfast – Desayuno | 2.Lunch – La Bandera Dominicana | 3.Sancocho | 3.Dinner – Cena | 4.Dessert – Postre | 5.Fruits – Frutas and Juices – Jugos |

The food of Dominican Republic / Comida de República Dominicana is a blend of many different cultural dishes all combined to make a style of cooking that is unique to this island. With influences from the Taino Indians, Spaniards, African Slaves and many other immigrants, the Dominican dishes or comida criolla has evolved. The Dominicans have created their own food and cooking styles into dishes that have their own distinctive flavors, tastes and appearances.

Dominican food is high in carbohydrates and starch. Most recipes are not complicated and are made from very natural and locally grown foods that are readily available in gardens, trees and from local vendors. Add a little locally raised meat or a fresh catch of fish, and some sazóne (spices) and you have a typical Dominican meal. Remember that typical Dominican foods are usually not spicy. In local type eateries there is a high chance that you will not see any black pepper. If you ask many will give you a bottle of hot sauce instead. They, in general, do not like their foods hot/ pica.

Salami, Fried Cheese and Platano.
Salami, Fried Cheese and Platano.

Breakfast – Desayuno

Breakfast Dominican style has many options from which to choose.

One of the traditional foods served for breakfast is Mangú, which is mashed plantains with some flavoring added and topped with lots of red onions. The orange squash/ auyama is used to make mazamorra that is also served with onions. Spaghetti is also a favorite of the Dominicans. Fried cheese is also a favorite served with fried salami and eggs. People love their oatmeal/ avena that usually a bit runny cooked with milk and is very sweet. Of course, there is always a good variety of fruits from which to choose. I have seen many people eating Sancocho and Mondongo for breakfast as well. To wash it all down have some jugo de avena, hot chocolate made with water or milk, some fresh juice and of course a hot cup of espresso style coffee made fresh to order.

Lunch – La Bandera Dominicana

La Bandera Dominicana/ The Dominican Flag
La Bandera Dominicana/ The Dominican Flag

The typical Dominican lunch, called La Bandera Dominicana/ The Dominican Flag (La Bandera recipe), consists of beans/ habichuelas and rice/ arroz, meat/ carne or fish/ piscado, and a salad/ ensalada of some sort.

First, the plate is filled with the most rice I have ever seen heaped on a plate. The habichuelas/ juicy beans come in black, red, white or green, depending on the type of bean used. These beans are usually served in a small bowl or cup on the side and you pour this on top of the rice, along with some of the sauce from the meat if you so desire. You eat this with a large spoon and a knife used for pushing the food onto the spoon. The meat is usually cut into pieces and is stewed. The portion size of meat is dwarfed when it sits next to the hugh amount of rice on the plate. There are different varieties of salads that can be served the most popular being, Green Salad / Ensalada Verde, Avacado Salad/ Ensalada de Aguacate, Russian Potato Salad/ Ensalada Rusa, and a boiled salad I love with tayota, carrots and potatoes. When the beans are made just right and the rice has the perfect amount of salt, along with a little concón/ crispy fried rice from the bottom of the pan, this meal is wonderful.

I can see why most Dominicans eat this meal everyday of their lives. It is a joke among my Dominican friends, if they do not eat rice everyday they will not live. After living here for many years I have come to believe this as truth.

Sancocho Dominican style
Sancocho Dominican style


Sancocho is the national dish of the Dominican people. It is made with a variety of meats and vegetables such as pork, beef, goat, fish, sweet potatoes. The recipe for sancocho is on our recipe pages. There is also another type of soup – stew type dish called asopao which is meat, veggies and rice in a flavorful broth. Make some for yourself, here is the recipe for Sancocho.

One of the many night time food vendors.

Dinner – Cena

The evening meal is usually something light because the main meal is served midday. You will see Dominicans eating a sandwich or a soup or stew such as Sancocho.

They do eat full dinners if they go out to a restaurant in the evening but at home it is usually light. Maybe they will pick up a snack on the street such as Chicharones, pasteles en hoja a hamburger or some fruit. Along many of the streets throughout the country you can find small trucks selling all types of fried foods and sandwiches. The roasted pork sandwiches are wonderful. Some snacks/ picadera consisting of olives, cheese and salami to go with a cold drink with friends are also popular.

Dominican-style bizcocho for sale in a Colmado

Dessert – Postre

The Dominicans know how to make desserts and sweets just right. They use all the local ingredients to make candies and cakes like no other place in the world.

Try out a mixture of beans, condensed milk and some other sweet and interesting ingredients. The name of this sweet mix is Habichuelas con dulse (habichuelas con dulse recipe *the link is to the old html web site). It is a traditional dessert served during Easter but can also be found the year round if you make your quest in the right places. It is also made into an ice cream that can be bought at Bon’s Helados. I never thought of beans as a dessert and ice cream. This is a must taste for sure. There is also the Dominican cake called Bizcocho that you can get with or without icing. The Flan is sweet and creamy and the candies made from coconut, papaya, almonds and other local fruits are yummy.

Fresh fruits from a vendor.

Fruits – Frutas and Juices – Jugos

The fruits grown here are the best. There are a wide variety of fruits that you have never seen or heard of before. Some do look ugly but don’t snub them because of the way they look. You have never eaten a pineapple/ piña until you have tried one here in República Dominicana.

The Mangos (season May thru September), of which there are many types, sizes and textures, are wonderful and very messy.

Mangos are best eaten with a knife as the little strings of fiber get stuck in the teeth. Do not let the mango juice get on your clothes because it stains.

Papaya/ lechosa is unbelievably tasty and nothing like what you will find in other countries.

An Avacado grown in DR has so much more flavor than any I tasted elsewhere.

Buy a banana or a peeled orange for a few pesos while walking the street for a quick pick me up. Just make sure that when you visit you do not pass up a taste you will always remember.

Zapote fruit, the beautiful seed inside and some juice blended with ice and milk. Yumm.

You can buy a juice on the street fresh squeezed and many restaurants serve their juices fresh as well.

There are a few different types of oranges. The china, which is the sweet orange, is used to make juice (sometimes it is mixed with sugar to make it even sweeter) and to eat whole. Then there is the bitter orange/ naranja sevillana that is used for cooking.

The Guava/ guayaba, a pink colored, pear-shaped fruit with yellow skin, is wonderful when made into juice or a greenish colored jelly (try it made into a paste and eaten with some cheese, I was shocked that this tastes so good).

I highly recommend everyone tries some zapote juice, the fruit is ugly but the juice is sooo yummy. The Guanabana and Passion fruit/ Chinola also makes a scrumptious juice. To learn more about the products grown in Dominican Republic go to our Grown in DR page.

Whatever you choose to eat while you are in Dominican Republic you should try new things. Things that may look strange to you might be a new yummy for your pallet. Some you might not like but I am sure that most of the cuisine in this country you will enjoy. You should keep your mind open to new taste sensations and try new foods. Whenever you visit a new place it is always important to try something different. You just might be pleasantly pleased. Try going to a restaurant and asking for something typical Dominican. If invited to a persons home for dinner make sure you try everything, no matter what it is. Even if your not crazy about what is served let them know how much you enjoyed everything. They are always hospitable and will probably be watching you while dining to make sure you are comfortable and happy. Many times when you are sitting in a restaurant, having a drink or snack in a Colmado or enjoying any type of food or drink Dominicans will pass by and say “Buen Provecho”. This means “Enjoy your meal”. Dominicans are friendly people and they use this phrase often.

Each part of this small island country has their own foods and recipes. Each dish is cooked in different ways depending on which part of the country you are in and which part of the country the person cooking comes from. There are also have different fruits and veggies that grow and thrive in certain parts of the country. Strawberries are grown best in Constanza, the Bani area is known for its Mangos. No matter where you are in our small island country you will find the most amazing tasting fruits, vegetables and foods all with its own Dominican taste and flavor. Be adventurous and enjoy our original Dominican sabor. Check out our Dominican Recipes and cooking terms.

We have our food words list so you will know how to say the different foods and exactly what they are. Impress your friends…

Colonial Zone and Dominican Republic

The Guide To The Colonial Zone And The Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic, located on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola, is a country rich in culture. The people and the land make it a unique and fun place to visit.

Panorama view of Santo Domingo. The Caribbean Sea, Rio Ozama and the Colonial Zone as seem from the Faro at Punta Torrecilla.
Panorama view of Santo Domingo. The Caribbean Sea, Rio Ozama and the Colonial Zone as seem from the Faro at Punta Torrecilla.

The island has lush green valleys, tropical rain forests, dry desert environments. There are sleepy villages, bustling cities, sprawling farmlands and the highest mountain in all the Caribbean, Pico Duarte. The music,
Merengue (amazon link) is the national music & Bachata, the happy people and their love for baseball. All these things and more add to the vibrant culture you can experience when visiting.

If you are interested in taking my special personalized tour visit my About Me page for information and contact.

Important Information & New Pages

* The history of Parque Independencia and The Altar de la Patria
*Hurricane information in Dominican Republic.
*Museo de las Reales Atarazanas (MAR) / Museum of Royal Shipyards
*Picture Slideshow – Churches & Cemeteries
*Picture Slideshow – Playa Juan Dolio-Guyacanes
*General Rafael Trujillo
*Picture Slideshow – Batey, Bayahibe, La Romana
*Dominoes Dominican Republic Style
*Plaza Monumento a la Caña in Santo Domingo Este.
*Plaza María de Toledo and her History
*About the Parque Duarte and statue of Juan Pablo Duarte in the park.
*Information about The Northern Walls and Forts of Colonial Santo Domingo that are mostly lost to the world.
*Take a Road Trip – Dominican Republic Provinces and Road Trips
*The “Homeless Jesus” sculpture
*Dominican Republic Holiday Calendar 2020
*Grown In – Gina Tree And Fruit
*Dominican Republic Superstitions – Marriage, Death, Water, Home
*The National and Patriotic Songs and Pledges of the Dominican Republic
*History – The Story of the Hermanas Mirabal

Our Island

Since the
Dominican Republic (Amazon link) is an island there are hundreds of beaches that you can visit. You can relax on a quiet rocky beach or maybe you want to swim on a white or black sand beach. You might want to do surfing, diving, windsurfing or sailing. You can dance the night away in the sand or a bustling discotec. Maybe you just want some peace and quiet you can find that also. You can also choose to visit one of our many sweet, clear and cool water rivers or visit the largest salt-water lake in the Caribbean. We have it all.

The country has all types of travel and vacation options.

You can visit a 5-star all-inclusive resort or travel very economically and rest your head in a small Dominican owned hotel or hostel. Visit our large, bustling cities or a sleepy country village. You must make sure to visit the oldest city in the Americas, Colonial Zone (also known as Ciudad Colonial (History of Colonial Zone in a nutshell), Zona Colonial or as the locals call it, La Zona), for a fantastic cultural experience. Visit over 300 cultural and historical places. Walk the streets. See and live the history.

Experience all of the wonderful things this island, nestled in the crystal blue Caribbean Sea, has to offer for yourself.

You will take with you many wonderful and happy memories of your adventures and of the friendly Dominican people.

Once you visit you will want to return to visit us again and again.

A Night In Dominican Republic – Tropical Music – Various Artists – ITunes