Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Santo Domingo's fabulous colonial-era buildings document Spain's conquest of the New World. This is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded in 1504.
There are some museums dedicated to the history of the Dominican Republic, the Museo de las Casas Reales is dedicated to the colonial period; while the soon-to-be renovated Museo de Historia y Geografía is dedicated to the Dominican history prior the Discovery up to contemporary times. The history of the Independence is summarized in the Museo y Casa de Duarte and the Altar de la Patria.
The number of historically important buildings in the Colonial Zone is staggering: Columbus' tomb, the first Cathedral in the Americas, the house of Hernan Cortis, conqueror of Mexico, Diego Columbus' palace.