Santo Domingo


Santo Domingo <<SAHN toh doh MIHNG goh>> is the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic. Its full name is Santo Domingo de Guzmán. The city lies at the mouth of the Ozama River on the southern coast of the island of Hispaniola. It is an important seaport. Factories in Santo Domingo make liquor, sugar products, and cloth. Resorts and beaches make the city popular with tourists.

Santo Domingo is the oldest city founded by Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. Bartholomew Columbus, a brother of Christopher Columbus, established the city in 1496. He named it Nueva Isabela. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo, finished about 1540, is the oldest church in the Caribbean Islands. Some people think the Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo holds the remains of Christopher Columbus.

A hurricane destroyed most of Santo Domingo in 1930. The city was rebuilt along modern lines. However, many of its buildings are in the Spanish colonial style. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo from 1936 to 1961, when the dictator Rafael Trujillo controlled the Dominican Republic.

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