Monday, February 27, 2012

The other Columbus...

As mentioned in the previous post, La Zona Colonial is the oldest area of the city. This area was the first settled area by Christopher Columbus. In this area, there is the La Catedral Primada de America, La Fortaleza Ozama and more. 

In this post, I am just going to focus on La Alcázar de Colón, which is the foto above. This residence belonged to Christopher Columbus' son, Diego Columbus and it is the first official resident of the Americas. 

Before we arrived to Columbus' house, I walked around La Zona Colonial with my cousin Lisa and my uncle Enrique, and took some pictures of this historical area of the city.

Above is a photo of a sign of the street below called Calle Las Damas. This is to be the oldest street of the new world, built in 1502.

This is a mural that is in the ticket center of the Alcazar of Columbus. I love maps which has led to my passion for traveling. 

Below, are all the different rooms within the Alcazar.


These dishes were so fascinating to me because the shield on the plates is from Castilla y Leon, which is the province I lived in when I was studying in Salamanca in Spain. 

The Ozama River. It is believed that Columbus sailed in to Santo Domingo through this river. 

Christopher Columbus with his son Diego. 

The plaza outside the Alcazar from the front balcony.

To conclude the tour, I wanted to add these last two photos of drawings that were on the walls of the Alcazar. I thought they were pretty fascinating.

This is end of my tour of the palace. I remember coming to this place as a child and think that it was Christopher Columbus' house. It wasn't until years later that I realized that it was his son's house and not his fathers. Diego seems to be forgotten and is overshadowed by his father's accomplishments.  Of course, there is a lot of controversy when it comes to Columbus and his affect on history. Yet, as I did some research on Columbus and his son, I realized that if it wasn't for his son Diego, Christopher Columbus may not have been remembered for what he had accomplished. 

How do you see Christopher Columbus? Did you grow up in an environment where he was revered or criticized?



  1. Thanks for letting me travel you world

  2. It looks like Spain or any sunny European country! Hence the "colonial" in "zona", por supesto.

  3. Beautiful! Remindes me of other colonial palacetes in Mexico. The word Alcazar comes from Arabic (as do most words in Spanish that start al-), and it means castle/fortress. My favourite is the Alcazar in Segovia. :o)

    I didn't know anything about Diego Colón, just his father! As for Cristóbal being revered or criticized... kind of depends on the country I was in at the time! As a small child in the US we celebrated "Columbus Day" at school, and when I lived in Mexico as a pre-teen and teen October 12th was a full-blown holiday! I don't remember it if was called "Día de la Hispanidad" or something else... And I think they may have retired the holiday shortly after I left the country in the mid-90s. In Spain (where I live now), Oct 12th is a holiday too, but nothing to do with Colón, it's the Virgen del Pilar, so a religious holiday!
    Mostly I just learnt about and admired Columbus as a historical figure, who managed to convince a powerful queen to finance this crazy trip he had planned to sail east by going west... and then went on to discover a whole new continent by bumping into a few islands... When I lived in Mexico there were some people who got a bit hissy about Spanish exploitation of Mexico and the deaths of so many of the indigenous population... I remember a brilliant conversation my mom had with a taxi driver when he went on and on about that. She told him he couldn't criticize Spain and modern Spaniards for that, he should be blaming his own ancestors! Because most of the Spaniards who left for the Americas were younger sons of noble (or not) families who had no prospects in Spain. They left and never looked back. The mestizaje in most of the Americas went deep, and most people living there are descendents of the original colonials... so the barbaridades commited were by their own ancestors! Anycase, that's our counter-argument when anybody gets particularly annoying about things that happened 400 years ago. In my view, you can't really judge the past through a lens of the present. Our morals, prejudices etc. don't necessarily apply to how people thought 400-500 years ago. You need to analyze things in a historical context!

  4. oops... sorry for going over-long on that comment... ;o)

  5. Hey :) just found out your lovely comment in my other blog :)
    thank you so much :)
    I use my little kodak m531 ^^


  6. @ Pura Vida: Thank you coming along ;)

    @ Zhu: Por supuesto ;)

    @ CrazyCris: I appreciate so much your insight! Don't worry about writing so much... That is what I am looking for ;) I also grew up with so many perspectives on Columbus' ventures. I agree that it is difficult to criticize what happened with what we know today. Yet, we do need take in all of what had happened: the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank you for your input and perspective :D

  7. what a beautiful place!
    like paradise

  8. amazing and stunningly beautiful pictures. must have been like heaven!


Thank you for your comments; I do read all of them :) I hope to respond to each comment as soon as I can... Thanks for stopping by ;)


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