1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Santo Domingo (capital)

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SANTO DOMINGO, the capital of the republic of the same name, in the island of Haiti, West Indies. Pop. about 25,000. It is situated on the S. coast, at the mouth of the river Ozama. Founded in 1496, it is the oldest existing settlement of white men in the New World, and perhaps the most perfect example of a Spanish colonial town of the 16th century. It is surrounded by ancient walls with bastions. The streets are straight, narrow, and intersect at right angles. The massive houses are built of stone with coloured walls pierced with huge doors and windows. The cathedral, in the Spanish Renaissance style, dates from 1512, and contains the reputed tomb of Columbus (q.v.). The cell in which he and his brother were confined by order of Bobadilla is still shown in the old fortress. The city is the seat of an archbishop. It has a small and rather poor harbour, but the river is navigable for 4 m. from its mouth. The climate is healthy and cool.