Old Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Entrance to El Conde at the intersection of Calle de las Damas
El Conde begins at the Calle de las Damas, the first European street in the Americas, and is one of the most important commercial boulevards in Santo Domingo. It is closed to vehicular traffic and the entire street is lined with stores, shops, markets, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and sidewalk vendors of crafts, tourist related items and fresh fruits and juices.
El Conde has also been called the Calle de la Separacion or the Street of Separation, because it divided the city in two halves with the upper classes living on one side and the lower classes on the other. Another name for the boulevard was Calle 27 de Febrero because at the end of the street is an altar dedicated to the national heroes, Duarte, Sanchez and Mella, who on the 27th of February achieved independence from Haiti, the French colony that had ruled the Dominican Republic for 22 years from 1822 until 1844.
El Conde at a time when vehicles were still allowed, photo courtesy of Danny Aquino