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tips for experiencing the life and culture of this unique island nation  

El Malecon, Santo Domingo, DR

* DR overview * favorite places * Santo Domingo * Catedral Primada de America * Plaza de la Cultura * Plaza Espana * Zona Colonial * Parque Colon * Mercado Modelo * El Malecon* attractions guide *

The Malecon (the pier), the seafront road along the coastline of the Dominican Republic's capital, stretches from the Zona Colonial around the heart of Santo Domingo. Also known as the Avenida George Washington, after the first president of the United States, the busy road is home to many hotels and nightclubs.

The Santo Domingo Malecon begins at the mouth of the city's main waterway, the Rio Ozama. It passes an intact portion of Santo Domingo's old city wall, beneath the historic Zona Colonial and the 17th-century San Jose Fort.

The most noticable feature of the Malecon are the large obelisk. The larger one to the east (El Obelisco), surrounded by flags, was built by brutal president Trujillo in 1936 to commemorate the renaming of the capital to Cuidad Trujillo. It is now a monument to the resistance against this dictator and those who suffered under his rule, most notably the famous Mirabal sisters. Three of the four beautiful women, symbols of Dominican resistance, were assasinated by Trujillo in 1960. Their life is immortalized in the fictional account by Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez, In the Time of Butterflies.

The Malecon passes numerous hotels and nightclubs, including many of the best in the city, as well as the Centro de los Heroes, the home the the country's parliament.

OVERVIEW for your visit to the Dominican Republic:

introduction *  when to go * things to do * events * getting there * getting around * food * history * attractions * music * cities * hotels