This huge gorgeous lighthouse is definitely a spot you want to visit if you ever stop by Santo Domingo. The view from it is gorgeous! The place is huge! I didn't get to step inside but got a peek from the outside and saw that it was beautiful... I also got to see Columbus's casket. That's right, isn't it neat? Here lies Christopher Columbus. I encourage you to visit the Columbus lighthouse if you ever drop by.
The Columbus' Lighthouse was built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovering of America. It's shaped into a big cross with the smaller parts in front and on the sides, and the longest part on the back. It houses the remains of Columbus (this is being disputed between Spain and us), and at night its lights are shaped in a cross that can be seen from, for.ex. the Old Town.
The construction of this monument was controversial because a wall was built to "separate the poor barrios" from the monument itself. This wall is called "El muro de la vergüenza" (the wall of shame). I went to high school at a public school (a good one too) that's located walking distance from the Lighthouse and that wall made it somewhat difficult for us to get into the premises - which is why I don't like it (together with many capitaleños [habitants from Santo Domingo]). I haven't been inside yet tho.
Edit Apr 2009: they don't turn on the lighthouse anymore and they haven't done so in some years, because every time the lighthouse was turned on, the rest of the city was turned off :P
This controversial monument to Columbus cost $150 million USD to construct and was completed in 1992 to honor the 400th year anniversary of the Columbus landing. It supposedly contains the remains of Christopher Columbus however at least 2 other places claim to have his remains.
The lighthouse is an impressibe cross-shaped structure constructed for the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas in 1492. In the heart of the structure is a chapel containing the Columbus tomb, and, some say, his mortal remains (other locations, including the Cathedral of Seville, also claim to possess the explorer's remains.)
At night, you can see the lighthouse from the colonial city, the powerful lights reflect a cross into the sky.
This inelegant building houses the tomb of Colon and a museum. The museum is of various foreign countries, such as South America, Japan, even Russia.
They do supposedly light up a laser show on special occasions, but it is very expensive and they do it only on special occasions.
Another site not to be missed is the Faro a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse) an impressive structure in the shape of a cross which was constructed to mark the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas in 1492. It houses his remains in an impressive tomb and features numerous exhibits. After exploring it by day, it is exciting to view the Lighthouse at night from the Colonial City, when the powerful lights are reflected into the sky in the shape of a cross.The lighthouse is located in the Mirador del Este Park.
I'm not sure what's more impressive about this monument: its sheer size; the fact that it appears to rise out of nowhere; or the fact that it is mausoleum for a man whose bones may actually be buried five timezones east. In any case, its quite spectacular and merits inspection both inside and outside (it is built like a giant crucifix). The inside has some nice artwork as well as exhibits donated by various nations from around the world. Be careful not to take pictures indoors or at least be sneaky about it. My sister was screamed at for photographing the Argentine display, but things were smoothed over when it became known we were from a city with a heavily Dominican baseball team.
The beautiful Baroque interior of this monument can't hide the controversy surrounding the monument and its construction. The design of this massive cross was chosen in 1929 and is from the Englishman Gleave. The monument, however, wasn't completed until 1992 (the 500th anniversary of the discovery). It cost the Dominican government over $100 million US, caused the razing of an entire slum and now causes power outages if the lights are turned on. Even if you're not a fan of Columbus or the western view of the discoveries, visit this monument just for its notoriety.
Also, walking from Tres Ojos to Faro a Colon is not a simple hike. If you want to do it, do NOT cut through the park as there is no exit to Faro a Colon and you will have to jump a rather high fence.
I guess I don't need to much introduce Kristoffer Kolumbus - or Cristobal Colon as he and his landmates called him. This huge museum is great for history lovers, they can well spend a whole day there.
As Kolumbus arrived in Dominican Republic the first time, he said he had arrived in Paradise, and that he had found a place where he once wants to be buried. That was in Dominican Republic.
This is the Faro a Colon, site where the rests of Christopher Columbus lay. It is also filled with paintings, just like a museum. I had the chance of going to the top of it and you can see the whole city of Santo Domingo from it! Really awesome view! At night, the Faro a Colon lights up the sky in the shape of a cross. It's a beautiful view!
Christopher Columbus or Cristobal Colon as the Spanish call him is larger than life itself in the Dominican Republic. Considering that this island’s government and society have had quite a bit of trouble during the centuries to establish themselves after the initial glory and fast decline, Colon seems to have been designated as the saviour and creator of the nation. Everything of any significance in Dominican Republic revolves around him; in ideological terms, he is what San Martin is for Argentina or Bolivar for Venezuela. Or most comically, what both of those characters are for Peru which happened to be in the middle of their quarrel for supremacy and as a result letting them both have divine powers posthumously in a conciliatory gesture. At the same time can any of those two actually compare to the Gran Almirante del Oceano, Virrey, Gobernador General de las islas y continente de Asia y ambas Indias, Capitan General de la Mar, Miembro de la Corte Real debajo del Rey y la Reina? Absolutely not! And by extension none of those countries mentioned above can. Reality is another matter. As much as it is important for nations to gather around a personality or idea it is no less important that their reality reflects it or the whole effort would turn into tragicomedy. In this case a huge monument akin to the Asian mausoleums was build on money coming from domestic and international sources to build a monster of immense pride but at the same time it is too dangerous to leave the building far enough to be able to take a picture of it without risking being mugged in the process. Guards with real guns and ammunition are there to protect the pilgrims visiting the Cristobal’s tomb from his own descendants. Isn’t this unfortunate? May be he should have instilled some virtues other than pillaging and rape so his offspring behaves properly in his presence. Or is he present at all? If you ask the Spaniards, he is in Seville in the local cathedral, all DNA tested and in company of his kin. But this monstrous claim by the villainous colonizer is not to discourage the true believers of Colon’s ultimate desire to rest within his great creation, namely the Dominican Republic, forever.
First the driver took us to the Columbus Lighthouse Monument (Faro a Colon). (Faro is the Spanish for lighthouse). The building was begun in the 1930s and was finished about 1992. The huge building, designed by the British architect J.L. Gleave, is shaped like a cross, its wings stepped back with increasing height like a pyramid. It is 668 feet tall built as a memorial to Columbus (Cristoforo Colón in Spanish).
Disappointingly, this is not a real lighthouse. I did not realize it but, in the heart of the structure is a chapel containing the Columbus tomb, and, some say, his mortal remains. The "bones" of Columbus were moved here from the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor. (Other locations, including the Cathedral of Seville, also claim to possess the explorer's remains.) Gloria said that they had moved Columbus's bones and they were no longer here.
There is no navigational beacon in the usual sense but the most outstanding and unique feature (and the reason that it is called a lighthouse) is the lighting system composed of 149 searchlights and a 70-kilowatt beam that circles out for nearly 44 miles. When illuminated, the lights project a gigantic cross in the sky that can be seen as far away as Puerto Rico. Gloria said it had not been lighted in some time.
The fountains in the grounds were not operating. I just took some pictures of the outside..
Hours: Tues-Sun 9am-5:30pm
Prices: Admission RD$20 (U.S.$1.25) adults, RD$5 (U.S.30¢) children age 11 and under