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Santo Domingo

(3.7/5 based on 14,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, sightseeing, religious sites
Santo Domingo, officially Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean by population. The population of the city is of 1,506,233 by 2016 and of 3,891,788 when its metropolitan area was included. The city lies within the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional ("D.N.", "National District"), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province. It is also the second largest city in Central America, behind Guatemala City.Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and then moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city's Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo, from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic's dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation.
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