December 15, 2013

0895, 0896, 0904 & 0905 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Colonial City of Santo Domingo (UNESCO WHS)

Posted on 10.12.2013 and completed on 15.12.2013
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage (1492), the Hispaniola island, located in Greater Antilles archipelago, between Cuba and Puerto Rico, was the site of the first European colony, founded in 1493, but also of the oldest European city in the Americas, Santo Domingo, dating to 1496 (officially to 1498). Expeditions which led to Ponce de León's colonization of Puerto Rico, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar's colonization of Cuba, Hernando Cortes' conquest of Mexico, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa's sighting of the Pacific Ocean were all launched from Santo Domingo, known as the "Gateway to the Caribbean". In June 1502 the city was destroyed by a hurricane, and the new Governor rebuilt it on the other side of the Ozama River. The original layout of the city can still be appreciated today throughout the Ciudad Colonial (Colonial City), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.

Known colloquially as Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone), the Ciudad Colonial is located on the west bank of the Ozama River, which bisects the city. The central public space of the district is Parque Colon (in the first postcard), a square that borders the cathedral and has a late-19th-century bronze statue of Christopher Columbus in its center. The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, begun in 1512 and completed in 1540. It once held the title Primate of the Americas, it has since been the only Archdiocese to have held this title. The building combines elements of both Gothic and Baroque with some lavish plateresque styles as exemplified by the high altar chiseled out of silver. Of note, the remains of Christopher Columbus were once housed at the cathedral, before their final resting place in the Faro a Colon.

Calle del Conde (The Count's Street - in the second postcard), one of the oldest streets in Santo Domingo, is a pedestrian-only street that includes several notable commercial buildings of the early 20th century and connects Parque Colon with the Puerta del Conde and Parque Independencia. The name ‘El Conde’ honours the Conde (Count) of Peñalba, who defeated the English in the 17th century. This is the street where everyone comes to Promenade and it is packed with shops, cafés and restaurants, from cheap fast food to authentic local places that have a good reputation. The Conde is also lined with street vendors selling toys, paintings, split coconuts, CDs, DVDs and empanadas.

The Alcázar de Colón (Columbus Alcazar - in the third postcard) is America's first castle, once the residence of Don Diego Colón, a son of Christopher Columbus. The building houses the Museo Alcázar de Diego Colón, whose collection exhibits the Caribbean's most important ensemble of European late medieval and Renaissance works of art. It is an impressive construction of coralline blocks that once housed some fifty rooms and a number of gardens and courtyards, although what remains today is about half the size it once was. It was from here that many expeditions of conquest and exploration were planned. In 1586, the palace was sacked by Sir Francis Drake and his forces. By the mid-18th century was abandoned, being restored between 1955 and 1957.

The Museo de las Casas Reales (in the fourth postcard) is a monumental complex that includes the former Palace of the Governors and the building of the former Royal Audiencia of Santo Domingo, dating back to the 16th century. The original architectural structure has undergone a number of changes through the country's history. In 1807, during the period of French sovereignty over the Eastern part of Hispaniola, the general Louis Ferrand gave the facade a classical architectural style. The building was later restored to its original 16th-century appearance, and was established in 1973 as a museum to highlight the history, life and customs of the inhabitants of the Spanish colony.

About the stamp

Frankly, I don't know if it is a stamp or just a label, as the ones used for priority mail. It looks like a stamp, was issued by Instituto Postal Dominicano (INPOSDOM), and was postmarked, but has also a bar-code and a number. Furthermore, it seems that it has an universal face value (official mail / priority mail / by air mail). I didn't find anything else about this stamp / label nor even on this institution's site and on its philatelic blog.

Santo Domingo - Wikipedia
Ciudad Colonial (Santo Domingo) - Wikipedia
Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor - Wikipedia
Calle El Conde - Virtual Tourist
Alcázar de Colón - Wikipedia
Museo de las Casas Reales - Wikipedia

sender: Sînziana Moldovan
sent from Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), on 13.11.2013


  1. It's a prepaid stamp.. Its the one sold in vendors machines that also sells the postcards. People insert the money, get a pack od 5 stamps with 5 postcards for about 250 pesos (USD6). They can be found in Touristics resorts and touristics markets... Way expensive and they take same time to arrive than normal stamps with 250 Pesos you can send 5 of those automatic machine vendors stamped postcards... With the same cost of 250 I can send 8 postcards with beautiful collection stamps, like carnival series, patriotic series, bird series, beach series or any other non out of stock series :-)