Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back to the Colonial Zone

Back to the Colonial Zone
Elder Darrel L. Hammon

Today, Joanne and I decided to rise early and go back to la Zona Colonial. The Colonial Zone is so intriguing because it contains so much history. We will go back again and again until we have seen all of it. Going for a couple of hours early in the morning is a good thing because it is so hot and humid outside. That's about all we can do. 

We had blueberry pancakes to fortify us and off we went. This time we parked on Calle de las Damas, one of the famous streets in the Zona. We parked and walked a little ways until we entered El Museo Fortaleza de Santo Domingo also conocido como La Fortaleza Ozama. We walked around on the inside and took lots of pictures. It had a cannon pad where several old cannons had been placed. Also, it had windy stairs Joanne and I walked up to see what was on top.
Inside one of the rooms

The following comes from this website: 

“The Fortazela Ozama (Ozama Fortress), open Tuesday-Sunday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., admission about RD$6). These dual forts and the somber tower sit on a bluff overlooking the conjunction of the Ozama River and the Caribbean Sea and were built by Governor Nicolás de Ovando in 1503, making this the oldest military building complex in the Americas. It was on these grounds, in the warden's lodge, that Diego Columbus lived when he first arrived in Santo Domingo with his wife, and it was here that Trujillo housed some of his many political prisoners. The tower is a wonderful place from which to watch a Caribbean sunset at about six o'clock in the evening. The grounds, too, are restful and impart an eerie sense of antiquity. On the grounds stands a statue of Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, famous military historian of the New World. When you buy tickets to the fortress, several young men will approach you as guides. They generally provide congenial and competent service and seem to take great pride in both their own work and the historical context of their city.

Calle de las Damas
“Calle de las Damas—In front of the fortress complex runs the beautiful Calle de las Damas. Built in 1502, it's the oldest street in the hemisphere. This street runs north and south for perhaps half a mile and is one of the most pleasant and historic walks in the Colonial District. This street became the "walk of the ladies" because Diego Columbus' wife, Maria de Toledo (a niece of King Ferdinand), established the habit of walking down this street to Mass accompanied by the noble wives.”

One of the doors leading to the interior
It was a pleasantly wonderful day. We truly enjoy La Zona Colonial. We will return and update you as time rolls on. 

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