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After Christopher Columbus's arrival on the island in 1492, Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas.
This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World.
Its small-scale architectural expression highlights its volumetric homogeneity.
The urban grid plan, the plots and original width of its streets are conserved, for the most part, enabling a credible interpretation of the city.
City of encounters, it is here where for the first time native, European and African cultures crossed and where multicultural understanding was developed in total synchronization of knowledge, language, belief and experiences.
Also, it is the Colonial City of Santo Domingo where the Dominican monk, Brother Antonio Montesino launched his appeal for the natural right of the natives, marking the beginning of the combat for the fundamental rights of mankind.
Criterion (iv): The initial urban fabric of the City of Santo Domingo, the « Ovando model » is conserved intact, as much in the regularity of its grid layout adjusted here and there due to topographical imperatives, as the original width of its streets.
Its monumental buildings that date from the beginning of the 16th century, bear witness to the decline of Spanish Gothic and the appearance of the first indications of the Renaissance, as is eloquently illustrated in its cathedral.