Nestled in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, the Dominican Republic is a country with many things to offer travelers, who are attracted by its crystalline waters, extraordinary nature, fascinating history and its great cultural wealth.
Can someone get fed up with incredibly beautiful beaches? If that is the case, in this country you will find countless activities, sports, dances such as merengue or bachata, ecotourism adventures and of course, to the satisfaction of all #GordosPorElMundo, a magnificent gastronomy.
If you are planning a trip to the Dominican Republic or are doubting whether to include it in your next destination, we leave you 10 things that you might not know about this nation and that may help you decide:
1. It is located on an island
But not the whole island belongs to the same country, since a third of the island “La Española” shares it with Haiti. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo and is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean, it is estimated that in 2017, 6.2 million visitors stayed and 1,147,000 cruise passengers passed through its territory.
2. First Spanish settlement in America
The Island was one of the destinations where the first excursion of Christopher Columbus in 1492 arrived in America. In fact, Santo Domingo was founded on August 5, 1498 and became the first Spanish city in the so-called “New World”, in addition to becoming the first seat of the Spanish colonial government.
3. And before the arrival of the Spaniards?
Before Christopher Columbus arrived on the island in 1492, the area was inhabited by the Taínos, which were also found in the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the north of the Lesser Antilles. These pre-Columbian inhabitants called the island Quisqueya (mother of all lands) and Haiti (land of high mountains).
4. The first University of America
The University Santo Tomás de Aquino was created by the papal bull In Apostolatus Culmine on October 28, 1538 in Santo Domingo, however it was until two decades later that it had the approval of King Carlos I of Spain.
Due to the lack of the real venia, it would have been legally established in 1558, so there is a controversy with the National University of San Marcos de Peru, founded in 1549, about which is the oldest in the continent.
At present, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (created on December 31, 1866) is considered to be the historical heiress of the Santo Tomás de Aquino University.
5. Appointed by a religious order
The Dominican word comes from the Latin Dominicus, which means Sunday. This is because the country, and the capital, owe their name to Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Dominican Order.
According to the most accepted historical theories, Columbus would have chosen that name because the day he arrived in the city a party was celebrated in honor of Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
6. A nation full of rhythm
Definitely what can be missing in a Latin country is music and dance, and the Dominican Republic could not be the exception. This country is recognized for the creation of merengue and bachata, do we dance?
7. The only flag with a bible
As you have seen in previous points, religion has always been part of the history of this country and the flag that dates from its period of struggle for its independence confirms it. It has a large white cross (which symbolizes God’s protection over the nation) that divides it into four parts, two red (represents the blood shed by liberators) and two blues (represents the struggle of liberators).
For its part, the shield is the only one in the world that has an open Bible in the center and is surrounded by an olive branch (on the left) and a palm branch (on the right). His motto reads “God, Homeland, Freedom”
8. At the last shout of fashion
Did you know that the famous fashion designer Óscar de la Renta was Dominican? This important design icon that dressed celebrities like Madonna, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Shakira or Michelle Obama, among others, was born in Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932.
9. Baseball is the national sport
Due to its good weather during most of the year, this sport is widely practiced on the island, giving some of the best players in history among which are Julian Javier, Ricardo Carty, Manny Ramírez, David Ortiz, Robinson Canó, Albert Pujols, Adrián Beltré and Sammy Sos.
It should be noted that Juan Marichal and Pedro Martínez are two Dominicans who belong to the United States National Baseball Hall of Fame.
En 2013, República Dominicana se coronó campeón del Clásico Mundial de Béisbol, considerado el mayor evento mundialista de este deporte, equivalente a la Copa Mundial de Fútbol.
10. Mestizo Gastronomy
Did you think we had forgotten about the food? We would not be worthy representatives of #GordosPorElMundo. Dominican cuisine presents an interesting mix of Spanish, Taino and African cuisine.
If you visit the Dominican Republic, you can not fail to try your most typical breakfast: the mangú, which consists of boiled green mashed potatoes and eggs. Lunch usually consists of rice, meat (be it chicken, beef, pork or fish), beans (beans), and a portion of salad.
Some of his best-known dishes are the sancocho (a stew, with up to 7 different types of meat and vegetables), mofongo (made with fried bananas, garlic and pork rinds), sheet cakes (very similar to tamales) and For dessert, beans with sweet or majarete, a sweet corn cake sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.
BONUS: Its beaches are considered some of the most beautiful in the world, they are true paradises!
Author: Miriam | Alan x the World