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Old 07-20-2019, 06:16 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Ilumel

Ilumel claims it is the largest furniture store in Latin America. It also has a very modern facade designed by a Dominican architect. Inside is an amazing staircase that goes round to each floor of the store. They carry some European, American, and Dominican brands in addition to selling lamps, decorations, and related items for the home. Even if not buying, it is certain to browse their huge selection and enjoy the modern installation and architecture. They ship anywhere in the DR, but I don't know their policy for shipping to some countries. It is the DR after all, they will do something to make sure whatever you must have arrives to your home.





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Old 07-20-2019, 08:31 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Parque Cristóbal Colón

Popularly known as Parque Colón, this was the original Plaza Mayor in colonial times. It was an open air square with nothing on it, not even the trees. It is said that all the towns of colonial origin had nothing on the plazas. Everything began during to change with the migration from the English Caribbean and their members beautifying the plazas. They started by putting flowers in the main plaza of Puerto Plata and slowly other towns began to copy them. This is the social center of the Ciudad Colonial and for centuries was the center of Santo Domingo. The park itself dates from the second half of the 1800s and the giant trees are from that date. In the final decades of that century the statue dedicated to Christopher Columbus was placed there. He is pointing to the New World that he found. The Oldest Cathedral of The New World frames a whole side of the square. Cafés and open air restaurants span another side of the square. The Palace of Borgellá, the colonial jail, and the Oldest City Hall of The New World are other buildings that surround this historic center.

Photos are from Google Street View.





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Old 07-20-2019, 09:14 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Ancla de la nao Conde de Tolosa

Conde de Tolosa was a Spanish galleon heading back to Spain with many treasures and mercury. After departing from Santo Domingo the ship was sunk in the Bay of Samaná by a storm. It was found several decades ago and some of its findings are on display at a nearby museum. The anchor from the ship is on full display on a street of Santo Domingo. Considering this is just the anchor, one can imagine how big the ship was.

Conde de Tolosa sunken ship can be visited with guided tour guides in the Bay of Samaná. It requires diving into the water. I'm not sure if they do this from January to March, because Humpback Whales from the North Atlantic Ocean congregate in the northeastern waters of the Dominican Republic for procreating. Samaná Bay is one of their most favorite places to hang out during those months. It is the largest congregation of Humback Whales in the entire Northern Hemisphere of the planet. Boats do a close up tour on those giant animals and some people are crazy enough to go scuba diving with those animals all around them. Call me a wimp, but I'll see them frolicking and splashing themselves from the coast on the Samaná Peninsula.




A video of tours focusing on the Humpback Whales in Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic.


Dominican fishermen that near Saona Island off the south coast stumbled upon a group of Killer Whales. The guys were scared of seeing those creatures. Thanks but no thanks. lol

Last edited by AntonioR; 07-20-2019 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:39 AM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Museo de las Casas Reales & Reloj del Sol

The Royal Houses Museums is very interesting. It has all sorts of artifacts such as the royal chair that awaited the Queen of Spain in Santo Domingo, the iron that used to be placed on the neck, arms, and legs of the slaves during their passage in the 1500s; a huge map of the island and of Christopher Columbus' voyages to the New World, paintings of important people, among many other things. The building itself was two that were put together in order to create the museum, but one of them (in the photos) was the Palacio de los Gobernadores (Palace of the Governors) from where the island was governed and the conquest of much of the Americas was planned (Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Perú, etc). There is an inner courtyard. The facade is in the Plateresque Isabeline architectural style. The main window above the main entrance has an architectural difference around it with columns and such, and it represents the window of the governor.



The Reloj del Sol is across from the Royal Houses Museum. It was built in the 1700s and allowed the governor to look from his main window and tell the time. The sundial clock only works during the day because it needs the positioning of the sun to mark the time with its shadow. It still marks the natural time of Santo Domingo, though today the country uses the Standard Greenwich Time as its base and the Atlantic Standard Time as its official time. Santo Domingo always has the same time as San Juan, Puerto Rico but is one-hour ahead of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Major American cities on the eastern board such as Boston, New York City, Washington DC, or Miami are one hour behind in the winter time (coinciding with Port-au-Prince and La Habana), but has the same time of Santo Domingo during Daylight Savings Time in the summer (coinciding with San Juan, Puerto Rico). They change the clock two times a year in the USA while the time is always the same in the Dominican Republic.


Last edited by AntonioR; 07-21-2019 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:35 AM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Bulevar de la 27 de Febrero

The wide median has many sculptures and murals by Dominican artists. In the center is a clock that every hour play a merengue. I don't know if it still does that. The gardens were recently redone and the side walls was lowered. Underneath the entire bulevar is a long tunnel, that explains why the bulevar has no shade trees.












Last edited by AntonioR; 07-21-2019 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:26 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Ágora Mall

Ágora Mall is probably the nicest mall in Santo Domingo. It has stores to cover every need and the main area is decorated during the holidays. Free concerts are held there too.











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Old 07-21-2019, 07:02 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Plazoleta Padre Billini

The Billini family is very respected in the Dominican Republic. In 1837 in this family was born a kid that later became a priest, hence his popular name of Padre Billini, that play an important role in Dominican society. He especially devoted to helping the city’s poor. His father was an Italian merchant that migrated to the DR and his mother was a Cuban of Dominican parents who left Santo Domingo due to the arbitrary nature if the invading Haitian forces. In 1861 he became a priest ordained in Puerto Rico. The plazoleta, which means little plaza in Spanish, was dedicated to this priest in Santo Domingo. It is made of bricks with accenting the trees in the plaza. On the center is a statue of Francisco Xavier Billini, alias Padre Billini. It is surrounded on all sides by colonial buildings of the 1500s. Behind the plazoleta is a restaurant that spills the tables to part of the plaza. Across the street is La Briciola, another Italian-based Santo Domingo culinary retreat in a colonial house with an inner courtyard.







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Old 07-22-2019, 08:44 AM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Hard Rock Cafe Dominican Republic

Hard Rock Cafe has really invested a lot in the Dominican Republic. It is the small Latin American country where they have invested the most with stores, resort, and their typical cafes full of memorabilia. Hard Rock is an American company.

Most photos are from Google Street View.


This is the store they left in Ciudad Colonial de Santo Domingo. It's across the street from the Oldest Cathedral of The New World.


This Hard Rock Cafe occupied a colonial building in the old part of town, but it has been a few years when they moved to Blue Mall Santo Domingo (the sign is on the corner of the shopping center). They found that this particular business doesn't just bring many tourists, but also many native Dominicans too. Part of the newer installation is very spacious and part of it is open air, though on a high floor of the mall with spectacular views of the city.


The first Hard Rock Resort outside of the USA in the Macao region of Punta Cana. The place is huge with thousands of rooms, a shopping center, a train to take people around the hotel, many pools, golf course, etc. The place is like Disney World for adults. Please be advice that while the beach is still nicer than most beaches in most places, there is more of the Atlantic Ocean than the Mona Passage/Caribbean Sea. This means more waves and the beach isn't like in Bávaro or like in Punta Cana or Cap Cana which are used as advertisement for the area. The beach here even lacks a mature grove of Coconut Palms unlike further south along the coast. The sand is also different from other areas in the zone. Despite all of that, the Hard Rock Resort definitely deserves a visit because its simply that amazing. This is considered the largest single hotel in the whole Caribbean.


The original Hard Rock Cafe in the Palma Real Shopping Center in Bávaro. The plaza itself is also very nice even if a person is going to stroll through and take some photos.


Hard Rock Cafe at Blue Mall Punta Cana in the original Punta Cana section. This is the newest of Dominican Hard Rock Cafes. Blue Mall Punta Cana is the largest mall in the area too and also includes the largest Zara store in Latin America.


The now defunct Hard Rock Hotel Santo Domingo. (Hard Rock echa para atrás construcción de hotel en Santo Domingo. - Terra Travel) They were going to build another hotel in Santo Domingo, but they faced resistance from many neighbors due to the casino. Hard Rock company did build a giant hole before they gave up on the project. The hole is surrounded by an opaque fence in Santo Domingo. This was going to be their first city hotel in the Caribbean.

Last edited by AntonioR; 07-22-2019 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:35 AM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Jenny Polanco

Jenny Polanco is a well known Dominican fashion designer. This is her flagship store, but she has other stores and businesses in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti. Her stores are only found in the Dominican Republic because according to her, she doesn't want to complicate matters. I think if she would had focus on her business, by this time it would had reach worldwide success with stores in many places in the USA, Latin America, and in Europe. To each their own I guess.

Santo Domingo was not a major fashion place, so Dominicans that wanted to develop in this field went to the major cities in the USA, Latin America, or Europe. A perfect example is Óscar de la Renta. Today its a different story and Santo Domingo has become a major player in the Latin American fashion industry. Dominican designers now prefer to stay in Santo Domingo and from there branch to other places if they want to.




At the end of this short video the fashion designer makes an appearance.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:38 PM
Status: "Thinking of the future..." (set 9 days ago)
 
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Iglesia & Convento de los Dominícos

This is the New World's second or third church and the first one devoted to the Dominican friars of the Catholic Church. Attached is a convent and an inner courtyard. Like all churches in Santo Domingo, it is missing the large amounts of gold that used to cover the inside, especially the area surrounding the altar. The churches were always a temptation to the people that captured or ruled Santo Domingo, but most was taken away by the French during the "Era de Francia" from 1802 to 1809.

The inland town of Santiago erupted into a revolution that caused the French rulers to allow the Dominicans to choose their own leader and supplant the French military guy that was set to rule the Cibao or northern region. The reason was that the French promised to safeguard everyones and the churches valuables, but one night a prostitute was seen with a necklace that the local people originally had on the neck of the local Virgin, not only a symbol of the town but a holy figure. José Serapio del Orbe, a mulatto from La Vega, was decided as the ruler. He also lead the Dominicans against the Haitian invasion of 1805 on their passage through Santiago. Unfortunately, Del Orbe was killed in the battle defending the city. He was hated so much by the Haitian forces that even when his lifeless body was covered in the mud and dust and only his uniform identified him, each Haitian soldier would hit his body with their bayonets as they passed by his cadaver. Then they headed to the town invading all the streets and killing all Dominicans that were found and captured. They didn't honored skin color or even religion, because inside the main church was a mass when the troops enter violently and made a horrible killing of the entire attendance. Fernando Pimentel, who was also a mulatto that was well known in the town, was killed on the door of the temple. As usual in most Haitian invasions, revenge was taken on the civilians who had nothing to do with both militaries. Anyway, except for the street grid in the Historic Center of Santiago which is the same that existed then, all historic buildings in that city were built later. A street in La Vega honor José Serapio Del Orbe's name.

Anyway, the inside of the church remains beautiful with some architectural aspects that makes this church unique in the Americas. In front is a small original plaza of the place. The facade has some interesting aspects as well. This building has always been orange-ocher, though repainted several times with the same color.

All photos are from Google Street View.










An article re-published in the American newspaper The Ostego Herald from New York, United States about the occurence in Santiago, DR. Originally it was published in a newspaper of Charleston, South Carolina from a captain returning from the island of Santo Domingo. (https://thedominicans.org/2019/01/25...e-of-santiago/)

Last edited by AntonioR; 07-22-2019 at 04:05 PM..
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