Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Old Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
El Conde

©By Danny Aquino
Translation by Gerald Singer
Photos by Gerald Singer & Habiba Hussein

El Conde was named after the Count of Peñalva, Bernardo de Meneses y Bracamonte, the Captain General of Santo Domingo. The count, in charge of a company of Creole lancers, is reputed to have saved the city from an English invasion under the command of Admiral William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania) and General Robert Venables. The Count is also known for having restored the Puerta Del Conde and for founding a school for children.

El Conde, Zona Colonial, Old Santo Domingo

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 Ciudad Colonial Santo Domingo

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, Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

El Conde at a time when vehicles were still allowed, photo courtesy of Danny Aquino

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