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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Santo Domingo Historical District

Dominican Republic

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Map of the second voyage of Christopher Columbus

This is a map from our hotel room in Santo Domingo, the capitol of the country Dominican Republic. It shows the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. The Dominicans are very proud of their connection to this explorer and his family, as they are an integral part of their nation's history.

Catedral de Santa Maria la Menor

This beautiful cathedral in the historical district of Santo Domingo is the oldest in the New World. The son of Christopher Columbus, Diego, laid its first stone in 1514, and construction was finished in 1540. The facade of this cathedral is golden coral limestone.

A main feature of the Parque Colon

This gorgeous church, dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation, has survived pirate attacks and earthquakes.

 

The pirate Francis Drake captured the city of Santo Domingo in 1586 and used this cathedral as his headquarters, thereby saving it from destruction.

Sitting under a shade tree with the Cathedral as a backdrop

There are on-going disagreements between Spain and the Dominican Republic as to where the remains of the illustrious navigator, Christopher Columbus lay. According to the Dominican Republic, they were once housed here at the Cathedral before being moved to their final resting place in the Faro a Colon.

The walls are solid limestone and there are twelve side chapels which were added over time. Inside the church are three aisles and a nave.

Two famous streets meet at the corner

The Count of Penalba defeated the British in the 1600s. El Conde means Count and this street, which is exclusively pedestrian and lined with shops and boutiques, is named in his honor.

Calle Las Damas, which means Ladies Street, was the first road created in the Colonial Zone. Fortaleza Ozama, former noble residences and other colonial buildings line this street.

Noblewoman Maria of Toledo, wife of Diego Colon and great-niece of King Ferdinand II of Aragon along with other noblewomen of the time, used to take a stroll down this street every evening wearing the fashions of the day, hence the name.

Nuns sauntering down the street

These two nuns, dressed in their religious habits, are wandering leisurely down the street. One of them is wearing a sun bonnet. The Cathedral is on the left.

Back view of the Cathedral

The Cathedral dominates the Parque Colon square.

The entrance to Fortaleza Ozama

Fortaleza Ozama is a sixteenth-century castle built by the Spanish at the entrance to the capitol city and overlooks the Ozama River. The name means "The Fortress" and is the oldest formal military construction of European origin in America.

This entrance gate which is on Calle Damas was originally built in 1608 and is known as the Prevention Gate.

The Tower of Homage

In the center of the grounds is the medieval style Tower of Homage. This castle was designed to guard the entrance to the port of Santo Domingo and to defend the city from enemies coming from the sea. Construction began in 1502 and was completed in 1505.

This castle was so well built that it served as a prison until the 1960s. Now it is open to the public as a museum Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 5pm.

Alcazar de Colon

The word Alcazar means citadel or royal place and this limestone building, located on the bluffs of the Ozama River, dates back to the early 16th century. It was built for Diego Columbus, Christopher's son, and his family. Diego would go on to become governor of Santo Domingo.

Once the center of the Spanish court, this building - which has 24 rooms and open air arcades - is now the Dominican Republic's most visited museum

Modern day building in historical district

Calle El Conde is today lined with modern buildings and boutique shops, of which this is one.

Notice the beautiful wrought iron on door and windows.

Statue of Christopher Columbus by French Sculptor, Ernest Gilbert

The Dominican Republic is the oldest country of the Americas and it was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first trip in 1492. The year 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of this Discovery of America.

 

This statue stands in the central square of the historic district in front of the Cathedral. The square was previously known as Plaza Mayor but was renamed Parque Colon in 1887.

Historical figures in the historical district

Here we are, a couple of relics enjoying the historical district of Santo Domingo!

The national flag of the Dominican Republic

The blue on the flag stands for liberty, the white for salvation and the red is for the blood of the heroes of the Dominican Republic. The white cross that runs through the flag is symbolic of faith. This flag was officially adopted on November 6, 1844.

Billy with a native Dominican

There are free train rides for tourists which run through the historical district. This young lady and her boyfriend were waiting for the next ride, when Billy hopped in and asked for a photo together.

That Billy! He's so brazen!

Outdoor restaurant seating

With Santo Domingo in perpetual summer climate, indoor-outdoor living is everywhere. This restaurant faces the Alcazar which borders the Ozama River. There is seating on the rooftops of these restaurants which gives a spectacular view of the lighted city at night.

 

Typical menu

Here's a typical menu of one of the historical center restaurants. There is goat stew, shrimp and chicken dishes and pastry wrapped chicken and beef. Prices run from $4 to $6USD.

Various country flags

The trio of flags are posted outside this flower-filled balcony. There is the flag of Italy, the flag of the Dominical Republic, and the third country flag is a mystery. It can't be viewed clearly here.

For more stories and photos of the Dominican Republic, click here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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