The Dominican Republic:
Where The New World Began
On December 6, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived on the Caribbean island that is now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He named it La Isla Española. In 1496 a settlement, La Nueva Isabela, was built on the Dominican Republic's south coast but it was destroyed six years later by a hurricane. Another town, Santo Domingo, was built on the other side of the river; this was the first real Spanish town in the New World. Today, in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, you can see many of the first structures of the Spanish Empire.
Columbus installed his eldest son, Colón, as viceroy of the new territories. Below, you see the interior of Colón's exquisite palace.