“La Capital” – Ciudad Trujillo in the 1940s

Ciudad Trujillo, the capital of the Dominican Republic in 1940, was the port of entry for most of the settlers. They arrived in ships or by air, stayed a few days in “La Capital,” and then were transported by car, truck or bus to Sosua. The sole intention of this exhibition is to present Ciudad Trujillo as the settlers saw the city when they first arrived in the Dominican Republic.

La Puerta del Conde: La Puerta del Conde was the western entrance into the colonial section of  Ciudad Trujillo (today Santo Domingo). Not much remains of the defensive walls which once surrounded the entire city, except for several sections with gates and forts, including: La Puerta del Conde, La Puerta de la Misericordia, Fuerte San Jose, Fuerte Santa Barbara, Fuerte San Gil, Puerta de Don Diego etc. The muralla (defensive wall) was modified in 1655 after the English undertook the siege of the city. The invasion was thwarted by Spanish troops commanded by the Captain General of the Colony, Don Bernardino de Meneses y Bracamonte, Conde de Peñalva. Due to his valor, the site was named in his honor La Puerta del Conde.

The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor: Located in the Zona Colonial of Ciudad Trujillo, is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Construction began in 1512 and was completed in 1540. The cathedral once held the title of “Primate” of the Americas. It has since been the only archdiocese to hold this title.

The Alcázar de Colón is the oldest viceregal residence in America. The building houses the Alcázar de Diego Colón Museum. The palace is an impressive construction of coraline blocks that once housed some fifty rooms and a number of gardens and courtyards. It was built under Diego Colón,  the son of Christopher Columbus; when he became Viceroy of La Española and the Indies in 1509, he ordered the construction of a family home and governor’s mansion between 1510 and 1512. In 1586, the palace was sacked by Sir Francis Drake and his forces. The house fell into ruins, and by the mid-18th century was abandoned. It was rescued and extensively restored between 1955 and 1957.

There are many colonial buildings in the old part of the city which were the first of their kind in the Americas.  Among these structures are the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Alcazar de Colon, the Ozama fort, and the Convent of the Dominicans.  Most of these buildings are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.  These sites are properties that are considered as having outstanding universal value and merit being preserved for posterity.

Most of the information above was taken from Wikipedia.


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