Santo Domingo: a nod to the queen Anacaona

For: Ricardo Coarasa (text and photos)
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The Caribbean flavor filled lung breathe in cities like Santo Domingo. Strolling through the streets of downtown is a delight and entertain people chatting with, who have made flag Epicurean ideal of enjoying life despite adversity, a lesson in pragmatism. The historic buildings of Santo Domingo colonial stone engraved with the DNA of this city that prides itself on being the oldest in the New World. But as important as admire the remains of the story is to enjoy, to the sound of merengue inevitable, a quiet conversation with a refreshing "ash" (cold beer) to exorcise the western overwhelmed by the rush that always lurks within us.

The traveler wants to track the last gasp of Queen Anacaona ("Golden Flower" in Taino language), paradigm of conflicting feelings that nested in the Indians after the arrival of the conquistadors in their world. Caonabo chief's wife, nightmare of the Spanish during the early years of the Conquest, The writers define it as a beautiful woman and settled, composer and promiscuous, which at first was very hospitable to newcomers and, later, as they lavished on abuse, conspired to drive them from their land.

Hurry Caonabo (He died on the voyage as he was sent to Spain) and his brother died Bohechío, Anacaona became queen of Jaragua and soon reached the ears of Governor Ovando echoes of an impending revolt led by the legendary Indian leader. One of the leading chroniclers of the conquest, Fernandez de Oviedo, that "with many other chiefs had agreed Deste lift and remove the service of the Catholic Monarchs and the friendship of the Christians and let the peace they had with them, and matarlos in la province Xaragua ". Bartolomé de las Casas explained that the trigger was that Anacaona and the chiefs of the province "felt by the Spanish too costly and harmful and intolerable anyway".

Legend has it that the Spanish hung in today's Duarte, Father street Billini, two blocks from El Conde Street, but historians do not give ammunition to the popular belief.

The truth is that Anacaona was captured and, in chains, taken to Santo Domingo. Legend has it that the Spanish hung in today's Duarte, Father street Billini, two blocks from El Conde Street, but historians do not give ammunition to the popular belief. In the square, known as "the playground", there is nothing to remember that "female absolute and dissolute" (in the words of another famous writer, Lopez de Gomara) that buzzed the conquerors. A statue perpetuates, yes, the memory of another famous name of Dominican history: Juan Pablo Duarte, hero of the independence of the country in the fight against Haitians.

De Playa Bávaro a la capital dominicana

"Santo Domingo Santo Domingo, and the rest is forest and snake ". The Dominicans are proud of their capital, there's no doubt, but the hundreds of thousands of tourists who arrive each year to the island have a much more pleasant: paradise beaches. Most, in fact, leave the country without visiting the self-proclaimed oldest city of the New World. And they should blame, because Santo Domingo offers visitors one of the most evocative colonial enclaves and best preserved in Latin America.
The passenger was on a bus in Playa Bavaro, run for a few hours of the placidity of the lounger pool man and the endless succession of rum cocktails. After leaving Higüey, through the endless sugar cane plantations where the planes of the Colombian cartels to empty your merchandise launch, will end up heading across the pond to Europe.
After the Chavon River, you come to La Romana, it boasts a secluded prison with sea views, and San Pedro de Macoris, birthplace of singer Juan Luis Guerra. From here, the last kilometers of the route run by a modern highway overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Santo Domingo looming in the distance when they meet the three-hour drive. His first settlement, Nueva Isabela, was founded by Bartolomé Colón, brother of the discoverer of America, on the opposite bank of the river Ozama 4 August 1496. Santo Domingo moved to its present location, in the West Bank, seven years after, when a hurricane devastated the original location.

A stroll through the oldest street in America

In the city was, throughout the sixteenth century, entire list of Spanish conquistadors in search of fame and fortune. Among them Hernán Cortés, who came to the island 1504, to 19 years, to feed his delusions of grandeur. At the intersection of Ladies, the oldest in Latin America, and The Count still stands the house of the conqueror of Mexico. On the lintel of the door waving the tricolor enrrejada gala and the European Union, it now houses an exhibition hall of the Maison de France.

And is that because they like to say around here, here who was not born rich are looking for life "as rat hardware"

In nearby, worth a visit Alcázar de Colón, in the Plaza of Spain, built by Diego Columbus, first viceroy of the Indies, in 1510. Rehabilitated 1995, its present appearance has little to do with the original. Most antique furniture from different rooms was purchased in Spain by order of the dictator Trujillo. At the gates of the castle, vendors offer their trinkets behind the statue of Nicolas de Ovando, between the Spanish governor 1502 and 1509 and founder of the city. And is that because they like to say around here, here who was not born rich are looking for life "as rat hardware". La Casa de Ovando (The Ladies, 55) also remains, restored and converted into luxury hotel.

Artery in beating the life of Santo Domingo, course, Earl Street, joining two of the main landmarks of the city: Puerta del Conde, which proclaimed the independence of the Dominican Republic 1844, and the first cathedral of the New World, closely monitored by a statue of Christopher Columbus, whose remains lie, allegedly, in Columbus Lighthouse, a cross-shaped mausoleum with makings of a pyramid built across the river (end of Avenida Mirador del Este) in 1992. Take a leisurely stroll, Caribbean sniff scents, poke in the stalls, allow to address the frank hospitality of the Dominican and do not forget to take a bag of ground coffee from The Coffee, on the left walking towards the cathedral.

the way
Flights to Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata Airport, with most tourist areas, are continuous from Spain. Iberia, eg, offers daily flights to the capital from Madrid, as Air Europa. January and February are the cheapest options, holidays except Christmas.

a nap
The hotel Conde Peñalva, front of the cathedral (Count, 111), is perfect for getting around the colonial Santo Domingo. The room is between 50 and 90 EUR.

a table set
The Adrian Tropical Malecon Dominican offers fine dining and splendid views of the Caribbean Sea. If you opt for the seafood, restaurant Sully (Charles Summer, beside PriceMart) can enjoy a delicious lobster at a reasonable price.

highly recommended
The most privileged vantage point of the pulse of the city is the terrace Coffee Count (in the street of the same name and in front of the cathedral), where travelers, Presidente beer in hand, you can see touches of the idiosyncrasy of the people all willing to take life seriously. And is that because the locals comment, in a country that produces 300.000 liters of rum every day and exports only ten percent, "Danced to the Ad.

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Comments (6)

  • Andres J.


    Santo Domingo is a city to enjoy. Stroll through the historic center, delicious. How good do well and not so proposed beach, which is almost the only thing that most tourists know


  • Mariano


    ¨ Santo Domingo where it all begins ¨. Buenisimo terrific article and also to write something more than sex, meringue, rum and golf hotels. That people are just leaving the hotel to catch the plane back.


  • Nilka




  • ramon carredano cobas


    I am Ramon Carredano Cobas, a Spanish writer, I just edit the historical novel “Anacaona. The end of a race” which tells the story of the Haitian cacique Anacaona.
    In case anyone is interested in her, Novum is published by Editorial.


  • ricardo


    Thank you very much, Ramon. 'll Look forward to the novel. Welcome to the traveling community VaP..


  • Rafael


    Really I was reading the story of the discovery, and the Spaniards were murderers and abusers and thieves wao,,, but they could retain the Tainos to the truth abused


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