Columbus Lighthouse Monument, Santo Domingo - Stein Travel
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Columbus Lighthouse Monument

This mammoth structure was built on the eastern shore of the Ozama River in the early 1990s, to commemorate both Santo Domingo's status as the oldest European city in the Americas, and the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World. The building is 693ft (211m) long, and built in the shape of a cross at a 45-degree angle. It houses what the Dominican Republic claims are the remains of Columbus himself, and is fitted with intense lights which project the image of the cross into the sky at night. The monument was designed by English architect J.L. Gleave, who won an international competition for the design after 455 plans were submitted by architects from 48 different countries. The building is also the repository for numerous documents and artefacts associated with the early Spanish colonial times.

Information & Facts

Address

Av. España

Admission

RD$20 (adults), RD$5 (children under 11)

Language

Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken in the main tourist centres.

Money

The currency is the Dominican Republic Peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Dominican Pesos, as US dollars are widely accepted and some places will also accept Euros. The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic. Major currencies can be converted into pesos at Central Bank approved bureaux; only 30% of the pesos bought can be re-converted and this only if the original receipts are produced, so it is best not to buy more pesos than you are likely to need. Major credit cards are accepted everywhere, but a commission is usually charged and it is recommended that you only use your credit card at your hotel as fraud incidents have been reported. The best exchange rates are paid on US travellers cheques and secondly on US dollars cash and are best exchanged at exchange bureaux ( casas de cambio). Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm; some banks also open on Saturday. ATMs are widespread.

Opening Times

Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5.30pm

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