Location: Av. aña (on the water side of Los Tres Ojos, near the
airport in the Sans Souci district)
Prices: Admission RD$20 (U.S.$1.25) adults, RD$5 (U.S.30¢)
children age 11 and under
Built in the shape of a cross, the towering 688-foot-tall El Faro a Colón
monument is both a sightseeing attraction and a cultural center. In the
heart of the structure is a chapel containing the Columbus tomb, and, some
say, his mortal remains. The "bones" of Columbus were moved here
from the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor. (Other locations, including
the Cathedral of Seville, also claim to possess the explorer's remains.)
The most outstanding and unique feature is the lighting system composed of
149 searchlights and a 70-kilowatt beam that circles out for nearly 44
miles. When illuminated, the lights project a gigantic cross in the sky
that can be seen as far away as Puerto Rico.
Although the concept of the memorial is 140 years old, the first stones
were not laid until 1986, following the design submitted in 1929 by J. L.
Gleave, the winner of the worldwide contest held to choose the architect.
The monumental lighthouse was inaugurated on October 6, 1992, the day
Columbus's "remains" were transferred from the cathedral.
Columbus Navigation Homepage
Back in Santo Domingo, the source of beams projecting the celestial
cross is the "Faro a Colon." When it was completed six years
ago, critics saw the 10-story-high, cross-shaped structure as a monument
to the megalomania of then-President Joaquin Balaguer.
One recent afternoon, only a few tourists were on hand to gawk at the
building, whose front is engraved with words that inspired Columbus, such
as Aristotle's assertion that between Spain and India "lies a narrow
sea that can be crossed in a few days."
by Peter van der Krogt.
Where was Columbus's
first landing place in the New World? Visit the Columbus Landfall Homepage.
Indios Tainos on
Santo Domingo's Malecon (waterfront Boulevard) for
Carnaval in 2002 & 510 years of history
In his own words
First Voyage Report
"On the thirty-third day
after I departed from Cadiz, I came to the Indian sea, where I found
many islands inhabited by men without number, of all which I took
possession for our most fortunate king, with proclaiming heralds and
flying standards, no one objecting."
|"In the one which was called Hispana, as we said above,
there are great and beautiful mountains, vast fields, groves,
fertile plains, very suitable for planting and cultivating, and for
the building of houses. The convenience of the harbors in this
island, and the remarkable number of rivers contributing to the
healthfulness of man, exceed belief, unless one has seen them. The
trees, pasturage, and fruits of this island differ greatly from
those of Juana. This Hispana, moreover, abounds in different kinds
of spices, in gold, and in metals. On this island, indeed, and on
all the others which I have seen, and of which I have knowledge, the
inhabitants of both sexes go always naked, just as they came into
the world, except some of the women,
|"And these men were the first who announced it wherever
we landed, continually proclaiming to the others in a loud voice,
"Come, come, and you will see the celestial people."
Whereupon both women and men, both young men and old men, laying
aside the fear caused a little before, visited us eagerly, filling
the road with a great crowd, some bringing food, and some drink,
with great love and extraordinary goodwill.
|&"For if anyone has written or said anything about these
islands, it was all with obscurities and conjectures; no one claims
that he had seen them; from which they seemed like fables. Therefore
let the king and queen, the princes and their most fortunate
kingdoms, and all other countries of Christendom give thanks to our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has bestowed upon us so great a
victory and gift. Let religious processions be solemnized; let
sacred festivals be given; let the churches be covered with festive
garlands. Let Christ rejoice on earth, as he rejoices in heaven,
when he foresees coming to salvation so many souls of people
|Christopher Columbus, br>
Admiral of the Ocean Fleet.
the Islands Recently Discovered in the Indian Sea
the day before the Ides of March 1493
"the pageant surrounding the annual Carnival and Independence
Day celebrations contains the real history of Hipaniola"