SANTO DOMINGO - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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Sponsorship
Santo Domingo
Country: DOMINICAN REP.
Province: SANTO DOMINGO
Elevation: 14 m (46 ft)
Demonym: CAPITALEÑO/A
Dialing code: (+1) 809 / 829 / 849
Postal code: 10100 to 10699
Time zone: AST (UTC-4)


Santo Domingo, officially known as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and is the largest city in the Caribbean region by population. As of 2010, Santo Domingo had a population of 965,040, with the metropolitan area reaching 3.8 million. The city lies within the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional (D.N.; "National District"), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.


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 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.


Santo Domingo is the cultural, financial, political, commercial and industrial center of the Dominican Republic, with the country's most important industries being located here. The city is the center of economic activity in the Dominican Republic, it is where most of the country wealth is concentrated since it is the main sector where everything related to politics occurs. Many national and international firms have their headquarters or regional offices in Santo Domingo. The city attracts many international firms and franchises such as Goldcorp and Barrick due to its geographic location and economic stability. Santo Domingo also serves as the chief seaport of the country. The city's harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates the largest vessels, and the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic.


The city's most important colonial buildings include the Catedral Santa María La Menor, called La Catedral Primada de América, America's First Cathedral, which states its distinction; the Alcázar de Colón, America's first castle, once the residence of Viceroy of the Indies Don Diego Colón, a son of Christopher Columbus; the Monasterio de San Francisco, the ruins of the first monastery in the Americas; the Museo de las Casas Reales, in a monumental complex that includes the former Palace of the Governors and the building of the former Royal Audiencia of Santo Domingo; the Fortaleza Ozama, the oldest fortress in the Americas; the Pantéon Nacional, a former Jesuit edifice now hosting the remains of various renowned Dominicans; and the Dominican Convent, the first convent in the Americas.

Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Santo Domingo with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.