There’s plenty of old world charm in what’s considered the most European city in the Caribbean, but travelers to Santo Domingo are in for plenty of New World wonder as well. That’s because so much of the culture and history of this capital city is tied up with the story of Christopher Columbus and his role as explorer and discoverer of the New World.
Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo’s oldest district, is home to a mighty bronze statue of the famous traveler, which commemorates his discovery of the New World. The towering Columbus takes center stage in one of the neighborhoods beautiful squares. Once known as the Plaza Mayor, Columbus Park was renamed in his honor the 1800s.
The Alcazar de Colon, better known as Columbus Palace, is another homage to the famous Columbus family. The oldest Viceroy residency in the Americas, it was once home to the explorer and his family. Now home to the Museo Alcazar de Diego Colon, the structure is comprised of 50 rooms, gardens and courtyards.
And one of the city’s most iconic—and impressive—architectural stops is also a nod to the Notorious Spaniard. The Columbus Lighthouse, designed in the shape of a Christian cross, the lighthouse projects a cross-shaped beam of light so bright it can be seen from the shores of nearby Puerto Rico.