Tag Archives: pirate

Casa del Cordón

Casa del Cordón / House of Cords

Casa de Cordón is named such for the “Cord of San Francisco” carved in stone surrounding the doorway. It was built by Francisco de Garay who, when he originally arrived in the New World, was a servant of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón). Columbus taught Garay to be a Notary Public and Garay gained his wealth from investing in the mining of the country.

Casa de Cordón front entrance
Casa de Cordón front entrance

First House In The New World

This beautiful structure was the first stone house in the New World. It was also the oldest structure in The New World with 2 floors. It was built in the Elizabethan and Gothic styles of the time.

Calle Isabel la Catolica La Casa del Cordón 1911
Calle Isabel la Catolica La Casa del Cordón 1911

Many of the noted persons of the time resided in this home including Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus, and his wife. They stayed here while the palace, their residence, was being built.

Casa del Cordón
Casa del Cordón

It was a place of grand social gatherings and meetings of the important and “beautiful people” of the time. All were waited on hand and foot by the black slaves.

Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door
Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door

In 1586 Sir Francis Drake made his terrible and devastating invasion of Santo Domingo. He and his Pirates took over the city and held the people hostage. Drake told the citizens of Santo Domingo that they could buy back their city. The inhabitants of Santo Domingo paid a heavy price of silver, gold and all they had of any value to these English Pirates to get back their beloved city. This building is where all the transactions took place.

Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door
Casa de Cordón close-up of the front door

For a time it was the location of the Real Audiencia.

The Casa del Cordón is now the home of Banco Popular (Popular Bank). The bank took care of the restoration of this beautiful building. When you enter you will be amazed at the beauty inside. The floor and vaulted ceiling are amazing. The central courtyard is immaculate and beautifully kept.

Location:

Calle Isabel la Católica and Emiliano Tejera.

Fuerte San Gil

Fuerte de San Gil/ Fort of San Gil

The Fuerte San Gil, one time named Fuerte del Matadero / Slaughterhouse Fort, is a 3-sided polygon fort. It was built between 1503 and 1510. This important fort was the first part of the defense of the walled city of Santo Domingo now called Zona Colonial or Ciudad Colonial.

Fort San Gil as the sun rises.
Fort San Gil as the sun rises.

This fortification was a very important bastion to protect the city from Pirate and marauder attack. The watchtower was located on the far corner of the fort. It gave a perfect view of any ship coming from the Caribbean Sea trying to enter the ports of the city. The tower also gave a great view of the sand patch below. This beach is riddled with caves that are excellent places for hiding.

Fuerte San Gil and the beach and caves below
Fuerte San Gil and the beach and caves below

In 1887 the original fort collapsed

due to rough seas. The fort was recently renovated. The renovation closely replicates the original. The area has been cleaned up and again is a nice place to visit.

The circular inner wall of Fuerte San Gil
The circular inner wall of Fuerte San Gil

The fort was ignored for many years and was in disrepair. The beach below was piled high with garbage and was home to stray dogs and homeless people who made the coral caves below their home.

Fuerte San Gil the wall that faces the sea.
Fuerte San Gil the wall that faces the sea.

There is a grassy area beside the Fort San Gil. It is a nice place to sit and watch the sea.

There used to be a restaurant located inside the fort. The barbecue pit can still be seen in the center of the old fort.

Fort San Gil in front of the Malecon
Fort San Gil in front of the Malecon

Location:

The Southwest most part of Zona Colonial where the Zone meats up with Ciudad Nueva. The fort is on the Malecón (Avenida George Washington) at the intersection of Palo Hincado. The bright white Obelisco Hembra is in the front of the fort. Be careful when crossing the Malecon. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right or way.