When you’re visiting Santo Domingo, embark on your own personal journey of enlightenment at Plaza de la Cultura. This sweeping complex is the perfect place to explore the rich culture of the Dominican Republic and make you feel like you’re part of the island. The plaza is situated in a lush, green park filled with modern fountains, abstract sculptures, and statues of national heroes. Here, the theater, library, and museums of Plaza de la Cultura preserve the history of Santo Domingo, the first city in the new world.
The Museum of Dominican Man
This archaeological museum will take you on a journey through the Domincan people’s history. Learn about the everyday lives of the Taíno natives from the straw huts and tools they employed. Perhaps the most striking items in this collection are the Carnival masks hanging on the wall. With their bright colors and fanciful designs, these fantastical beasts are exuberant and fascinating — you won’t want to stop admiring them all.
El Teatro Nacional
This unique, classically inspired structure, with its soft travertine marble arches, boasts three theater halls — the largest of which accommodates more than 1,500 spectators. If you feel like getting dressed up and enjoying a night of pop music, a symphony, or the latest drama, El Teatro Nacional has what you’re looking for. This cultural hub recently hosted an international theater festival, where thespians from all over Europe and the Americas performed.
Natural History Museum
Step into this modern museum devoted to all branches of science, and you’ll be greeted by a humongous whale skeleton, whose mammoth jaw boasts a fence of baleen. You’ll become a child again as you wander through the Hall of Biogeography and hear howls and roars of the beautifully preserved animals, such as leopards and moose, that represent each of the world’s regions. Then, the planetarium will take you high into the night sky with a stunning visual presentation of the planets and stars.
Spend the day at the Plaza de la Cultura and you’re destined to come away with a new appreciation for the colorful history of the Dominican Republic, as well as its impact on the spheres of art and science.