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Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros (English: Saint James of the Thirty Knights) is a city in the Dominican Republicmarker. Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European colonization of the New World, today Santiago (the first "Santiago" of the Americas) is the second largest Metropolis in the Dominican Republicmarker, located in the North-central region of the Republic known as Cibao valley. This city is the capital of Santiago Province.

History

The original colony was in the city of Jacagua, which was founded in 1495, but when it was destroyed by an earthquake, it was moved to its present location in 1506. It was devastated by another earthquake in 1562. Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros has sometimes been the capital of the country, and was an important strategic city in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844.

Geography

Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros is located on a hilly terrain in the middle of the Cibao Valley in the Central Region of the Dominican Republic, one of the most fertile lands found in the island. The Yaque del Norte River passes by Santiago which is in between Cordillera Central and Cordillera Septentrional, two of the three major mountain ranges on the island of Hispaniola, forming the Cibao Valley.

Climate

The average temperature varies little in the city, because the tropical trade winds help mitigate the heat and humidity throughout the year. December and January are the coolest months and July and August are the warmest. Santiago and the rest of the country are in the Caribbean and have a tropical climate, which makes them very vulnerable to hurricanes.However Santiago most of the time has a cloudy climate and it is less warm than Santo Domingo because it is located 183 meters above sea level.

Economy

The city of Santiago, as most of the Cibao region, is largely dependent on the fertile lands of the region. This makes Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros an important region for farming and livestock. The city has been recently changing into a predominantly service provider economy. This sector has grown a lot in the recent years making it ideal for greater expansion. It should be noted that Santiago is the 2nd largest city in the Dominican Republic after Santo Domingo and due to that, it produces the 2nd highest percentage of the nations GDP. Telecommunications like wireless phones, cable service, internet service and other telecommunication services are important for the local economy. Tourism too, accounts for an important portion of the city's economy.

Growth and Development

Like Santo Domingomarker, Santiago has recently experienced an era of rapid growth and development. It has become a city of great importance for the nation and the region's development. Santiago like any other fast growing city is faced with numerous problems including irregular electricity service and insufficient potable water. The approximate population of Santiago is in the range of 1,936,721 inhabitants. The fastest growing neighborhood in the city of Santiago is the traditionally upper middle class La Trinitaria.

Shopping in Santiago

  • Bella Tierra Mall (Under Construction)
  • Colinas Mall
  • El Encanto
  • El Mercado del Cibao
  • El Super Pola
  • La Opera
  • La Sirena
  • Plaza Internacional


Arts and Culture

Architecture

Palace of Justice in Santiago
The city of Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros at La Trinitaria neighborhood


The Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, as seen in December 2005.


Catedral de Santiago:The Cathedral of Santiago was built in 1895 by Onofre de Lora, an architect native to the city. [88053]

Hermanos Patiño Bridge:

The Hermanos Patiño Bridge is both the largest and oldest bridge in the city connecting the North and South sides of the city of Santiago. Its construction was started by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo and inaugurated in 1962, one year after his death. The Bridge is named after the five (not two) brothers that died in an effort to end Trujillo's regime and dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in the mid 20th Century. The anti-Trujillo legacy of the Patiño family did not began with the brothers, but with their father who was killed in 1931 in the first anti-Trujillo insurrection in the Dominican Republic.[88054]

Monument to the Heroes of Restoration:On a hill overlooking Santiago is a high marble monument. Construction of the monument began in 1944 on the orders of then-dictator Rafael Trujillo. He named it the "Monument of the Peace of Trujillo". Trujillo was assassinated in 1961, after which the monument was renamed the "Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration", in remembrance of the Independence Restoration War of 1863, in which the Dominican Republic regained its independence from Spain. [88055]

Sites of Interest



Museums

The ``Centro Leon´´ in Santiago, is a modern museum that exhibits Dominican culture and some Dominican customs and national parks
There are some interesting museums in Santiago that show the culture of this northern city.Some of them are:

  • : This Museum is located in the Historic City Center on Restauración Street. It exhibits Santiago's Carnival culture, and displays some interesting garments worn by lechones of Santiago Province in the Carnival, as well as those worn in other provinces. The museum is named after noted Santiago painter Yoryi Morel.


  • : or The Tobacco Museum is located in the Town Center. Different manufacturing methods as well as the effect of the tobacco plantations along the city's history.


  • : or Historic San Luis Fort Museum is located in front of the Yaque del Norte River, Southwestern Santiago. It previously served as a municipal prison. [88056]


  • : or Restoration Heroes Museum (under Construction) is located in The Santiago Monument. It displays the Restoration War pictures from the 1863–1865 battles between the Dominican Government and the Spanish army. [88057]


  • : This Museum is located at 27 de Febrero Avenue. It displays elements of the Caribbean and Dominican cultures, Natural Dominican History, Native Indian Evolution and Culture. Also, it periodically hosts different art exhibitions of Dominican and international artists. The museum is under the authority of the León Jimenez Foundation (owner of the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana as well as the Industria de Tabaco León Jimenez. [88058]


Sports

Estadio Cibao.


Arena Del Cibao.


As much as the rest of the nation, Santiago residents enjoy baseball and look forward to the Dominican winter season with the local team being the Aguilas Cibaeñas. [88059]. Besides baseball, basketball is also played at a professional level in the city of Santiago. The institution in charge of organizing these events is the Asociación de Baloncesto de Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros (ABASACA) [88060]

Santiago's major baseball and basketball teams are the Aguilas Cibaeñas and Los Metros de Santiago.

The Female Volleyball Team have claimed two bronze medals in the professional Dominican Volleyball League.

Education

Santiago is home of several universities including Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) and Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA). Other higher learning institutions present in Santiago are: Universidad Organización & Método (O&M), Universidad Abierta para Adultos (UAPA), Universidad Nacional Evangélica and one regional campus belonging to the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo.
utesa
PUCMM


Nightlife and restaurants

Santiago has a blooming nightlife around El Monumento area. Dozens of restaurants circle the center of the city, making it an active nightlife area. Bars, clubs, and the park surrounding El Monumento provide recreation and fun, attracting crowds of the city's inhabitants and tourists as well.During the day Santiago will seem like any other large city in the area, however, after dark Santiago becomes a party city. Clubs in Santiago offer a great way to enjoy the music and dance of Santiago. You will find there is a large variety of music in the many clubs. The most popular music in the clubs of Santiago are bachata, merengue, salsa, and reggaetton. Yet you can also find some bars and lounges where you will hear electronic music and techno. The Over is a new club in Santiago that offers fun for visitors, located in Los Jardines. There's also Rojjo, which is a small club located near El Monumento. The Francifol CafÉ is located on the corner of General Lopez and Calle El Sol, it is a bit more expensive that other clubs in Santiago and is very crowded on the weekends. Privilege, Tribecca cafe, and Vitra & Bocanadas are also places you can't miss. The younger crowd usually frequents the most popular clubs in Santiago.

As far as restaurants go, you will find a lot of them in the Los Jardines area. Mostly gourmet dining.

Also very popular in Santiago are the Liquor Stores, which are more like bars in the sense that people buy the liquor and also get to stay seated to consume it. There's music playing and some even get up to dance. H2O, El Viejo Jack, People & Drinks, Liqui2 and Bex are among the most popular liquor stores in Santiago.

Transportation

Cibao International Airport in 2003


Carros Públicos: Santiago does not have an efficient form of transportation, there is however “Carros Públicos” (conchos) and private and independent bus owners who form their own routes according to demands.

Inter-City Bus Transportation: The city has private bus transportation to other important cities. Bus companies include Metro, Caribe Tours, Transporte Espinal, Aetra Bus.

Highways: The Autopista Juan Pablo Duarte Officially known as DR-1 passes by the city center and connects the city directly to Santo Domingomarker. Other minor highways connect the city to Puerto Plata, Samana, and the northwestern region of the country. Overall, Santiago has a fine connection through highways to the rest of the country.
April 9, 2008.
Busy morning at Cibao International Airport
Airports:
  • The Cibao International Airportmarker serves mostly Dominicans living in the United States and other Caribbean islands like Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico and Panama. [88061].
  • The former airport of the city was the Santiago Municipal Airportmarker, a regional airport that has been closed since March 2002. It served destinations such as San Juan, Port Au Prince, Miami and Santo Domingo with regular services.


Proposed Rail System: The construction of a light metro rail is in the planning stage. It's scheduled to be started by the summer of 2009. Financing is to be by a private firm, the State Rail System of Spain (FEVE). The Light rail system will connect the City center to the Airport and shorten the amount of time of trips.

Health

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Recently, new Private and public hospital have been added to the Health care system. One of the leading projects has been the Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago[88062](HOMS), a modern facility constructed to cease the overcrowding of Santiago's hospital and healthcare system. Other facilities like Cabral y Baez, Clínica Corominas, and Union Médica offer their services in the city.

New Projects



  • Gran Cibao Hotel – It is the largest hotel in the Cibao region. It will have approximately 11 floors and it will enter into service shortly.


  • Light Rail in Santiago – A Light Rail development in the city's metro area has been proposed. If completed it will be the second city In the nation to have a mass transit system and would be 3.4 miles longer than the Metro of Santo Domingo. The Light Rail will have 12 stops, its route will be from the Cemetery to the Airport. Construction was scheduled to begin in October 2007 but currently the project has been delayed and on Hold.
  • Electric “Highway” from Santo Domingo – Santiago's power comes from Puerto Plata, but the government commenced the building of the Electric “Highway” that will feed Santiago electric energy from Santo Domingo's generators. construction started in February 2007.


  • Central Park of Santiago – The Central Park of Santiago is projected to be constructed on the land of the now defunct old Santiago Municipal Airportmarker that now lodges the regional seat of the National Police and the offices of the Association for Development.
The industrialists of Santiago have defended the project since it is considered to be a solution to the lack of green spaces suitable for relaxation in the city. Nevertheless it has been argued that the granting of contracts for the different phases from this project violate the frame of transparency and legality.In the Strategic Plan of Santiago it is indicated that the construction of the Metropolitan Park would increase the Santiagos green area from its currently 1.1% to 4%.

  • Santiago Inteligente and Santiago Massive Retraining Program (SMART)-An initiative launched recently by the Center for Exports and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD), headed by Eddy Martínez Manzueta and the Plan Estrategico de Santiago seeking to foster the new regional economic development and branding strategy and the promotion of Santiago as a knowledge-based production center in both conventional and emerging sectors, including Health Tourism, ITES-BPO, biotechnology and agro-business, as well as High-value manufacturing and Fashion (textiles and apparel, footwear), among others. The initiative focuses on education and training activities, new architectural designs and development projects as well as an international marketing campaign that will help position Santiago as a unique region for R&D, innovation, and world class products and supreme quality workforce.


Hotels

Though not being a major touristic pole in the Dominican Republic (known mostly for its beach based tourism), there are multiple hotels currently operating in the city. Among them we can find:

  • Courtyard Marriott Hotel: (5 stars) It is located in Duarte Highway in Santiago-La Vega route. Is another five star hotel and it is near Cibao International Airportmarker. This hotel has been known as the 4th of the Courtyard Marriot worldwide hotels in all of the globe, in comfort and pleasure.


  • Hodelpa Gran Almirante: (5 Stars) Is located in Estrella Sadhala Avenue. It hosts one of the few casinos in the city and is used for conventions and meetings.


  • Hotel Gran Cibao: (5 Stars) It is located in the Duarte Highway. To be opened soon. It is the presence of this five star hotel, one of the largest ever built in Santiago, this hotel will increase tourism in this city, as well as an important part in the city's economy due to the creation of direct and indirect employment.


  • Hodelpa Centro Plaza: (4 Stars) With Casino, it is located in Calle San Luis, in the center of the city, so it is easy for visitors to visit the historic sites of the city and it is near of some of the museums mentioned above.
La Trinitaria
  • Hotel Matum: (4 Stars) It is located in Las Carreras Avenue in front of the Gran Teatro del Cibao. It is a four star hotel with a Casino operating in its facilities.


Recreation Places

Some of the recreational places found in Santiago are:
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  • Centro Español: located in the Panamericana Avenue, this place is very visited during summer time by Santiago's population and also tourists. Many activities take place in it, such as sports like swimming, basketball, baseball, softball, football, golf, table games, and children summer camps. They also host parties with famous Dominican and international artists. Its access is restricted to registered members only. [88063]


  • Gurabito Country Club: Another popular club located in Panamericana Avenue, it's another recreational center. They have sports activities, such as baseball and basketball. Parties with Dominican artist take place periodically in this club as well as some pool parties with other Dominicans singers. Access restricted to members only. Website


  • Kaskada Agua Park: Located in Panamericana Avenue too, is a water theme park. Access is not restricted to members, which makes it more attractive for the general public.


Noticible residents of Santiago de los Caballeros



Sister cities

Santiago has twinning agreements with the following sister cities:



External links



Photo gallery

Image:A view of Santiago Historical Center.jpg|Houses in Santiago Old Historic CenterImage:Nuestra_Señora_de_la_Altagracia.jpg|Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Catholic ChurchImage:Centro_de_Bellas_Artes.jpg|Performing Arts CenterImage:Santiago_Northeast.jpg|A view of the Northeastern section of Santiago

References

  1. http://www.fedovoli.org/ListItem.aspx?ListId=387



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