The panorama view of Ciudad Colonial from atop a six-story building looking down. To the left is Calle Padre Billini and far in the distance is the Caribbean Sea. You can see the distant line of the new city of Santo Domingo with all the tall buildings and Hotels. Toward the center of the picture is a very large brown building. That is Edificio Díez that sits on the Calle el Conde and Hostos. Move further to the right the bright white tower with the clock is the Palacio Consistorial and the large stone building is the Cathedral of Santa Maria, Catedral de Santo Domingo, Primada de América. Then you come to Calle Isabel la Catolíca with the columned porch of the Palacio de Borgellá. In the distance you can see the red domed roof of the Panteón Nacional and the bridge over the Rio Ozama in the background.
Hot Air Balloons – 2012
Hot Air Balloons and a Helicopter over the Colonial Zone. Calle Isabel La Catolíca and the Cathedral on the left and the Casa del Sacramento on the right with the red roof.
Ciudad Colonial looking toward the Caribbean Sea – 2011
This picture is taken in Ciudad Colonial looking toward the Caribbean Sea. You can see the Port San Souci on the left. Moving along it the Faro San Souci at Punta Torrecilla at the mouth of Rio Ozama. Looking down Calle Isabel la Catolíca. The Caribbean Sea is in the distance with the state of Fray Anton de Montesinos on the right.
A Google map of the Colonial Zone sights, museums, monuments, parks, plazas and other points of interest.
Our map of Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo / Mapa de la Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic / República Dominicana. It is a work in progress map of all the monuments and sights in the oldest city in all the Americas.
Make sure to view the map as large as possible so all the icons are not jumbled since there are so many sights in such a small area. Click the icon and a little pop up box will appear. This window will tell you what is in that spot and have a link to the page in the Colonial Zone web site for more detailed information.
Virgen de la Altagracia/ Virgin of the Highest Grace. Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, Patrona de La República Dominicana.
The country’s official patron saint and Queen Protector of the heart of Dominicans.
The story of Our Lady de Altagracia dates back to when Spain first colonized the island of Hispaniola. Two men, Alonso y Antonio de Trejo, brought a painting of the Virgin to Hispaniola from their home in Placencia, in the region of Extremadura in 1502.
The legend states that the image of the Virgin mysteriously disappeared from the house of the brothers Trejo. The painting later reappeared in an orange bush. The location of this bush is where the first church of Higuey was built.
Now thousands of devoted visitors make the trek here to deposit offerings and to ask favors of the Mother of Christ. Dominicans pray to her for miracles and cures and for intercession for whatever troubles them. Las Noches de Vela/ the Nights of Prayer is celebrated the night before Altagracia Day.
The painting (shown here) of the patron saint of Dominican Republic that is found in the Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia located in Salvaleón de Higüey. It is said to have been painted in the late 15th century in Spain. It was mysteriously delivered by a shrouded old man who dropped the painting and disappeared. This painting shows the scene of the birth of Jesus. The frame is made from Dominican gold and inlaid with fine enamels, precious stones and jewels. The painting has been completely restored.
Another miracle story is about how Dominican soldiers appealed to the Virgin to help them win victory over the French in the 1691 battle in La Limonade, near Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti. They won the battle.
Virgen de la Altagracia was crowned the spiritual mother of Higuey by pontificate of Pius XI in August 15, 1922. The ceremony was held in Santo Domingo at the Puerta del Conde. It was declared that Día de la Altagracia celebrated on January 21st would be a National holiday by the President of the Dominican Republic, Doctor Joaquin Antonio Balaguer Ricardo. Many important people of the Catholic Church attended this ceremony.
This celebration is now a blend of African religions and Catholicism. Dominicans recite prayers, play African influenced music, sing hymns and dance.
English: “The hour is, then, causes so that we swear on the foot of this Basilica, in the presence of the Delegate of his Sanctity, His Eminence the Cardinal Jose Humberto Quintero, who from today and onward we will work together by the good of the Mother country and the union and the concord of the national family”
Spanish: “La hora es, pues, propicia para que juremos al pie de esta Basílica, en presencia del Delegado de Su Santidad, Su Eminencia el cardenal José Humberto Quintero, que desde hoy en adelante trabajaremos juntos por el bien de la Patria y por la unión y la concordia de la familia nacional” proclaimed Balaguer, when giving the Basilica to the Ecclesiastical authorities.