Santiago de los Trente Caballeros

I am in the Santiago mentioned above, which has the distinction of being the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic (i.e. the second-largest city in Santo Domingo after Santo Domingo itself) and the oldest Santiago in the Americas. It is called Santiago de los Trentes Caballeros because during the Dominican Restoration War, fought to free the country from its re-colonization by Spain, some thirty gentlemen held off the Spanish from the tall hill near the city center.

This hill is now the site of a very large white marble monument, known as el monumento, with a Trajan-style column topped by a stylized statue of a woman, presumably a figure for the Republic. This monument is visible from almost every point in Santiago and though it is not strictly speaking in the center, it has become the symbolic center of the city. People hang out there, drink, eat empanadas. Because it is the tallest point, even without climbing the monument one has a very nice view of the city.
So I can't say that I especially like it, it's not what I would call inspired architecture, but I thought of it as a nice spot to see the city and relax. I don't see why it changed when I found out it was by Trujillo, but now the sight of it bothers me somewhat. It's a reasonable thing to make a monument for, a fine public space, it's not ugly; but it is and will remain a monument imposed by a dictator. The lady on top, always weird, now reminds me of dehumanizing dictatorial art.

The center of Santiago is dust-colored. One street has blocky buildings, with signs projecting out clearly directed at the vehicular, not pedestrian traffic. I haven't really been taken off that street, but from what I can see outside of it the buildings are rather old, French-Caribbean architecture, with some nice Hispanic churches.
If the center is dust-colored, the rest of Santiago is green. Green with mango trees, avocado trees, lemon trees, palm, a pretty sort of red-flowered tree. The most striking thing about it as a city is that level of greenery and of indoor-outdoor interaction.

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