Santiago de los Caballeros: a cosmopolitan city full of charm and culture
Santiago de los Caballeros, also known as the “Heart City, or Capital of Cibao”, is a cosmopolitan city that stands on five centuries of history and culture, represented in its imposing buildings and museums in the European neoclassical style, which invite hundreds of tourists to visit it.
If you are one of those who love to visit destinations with stories, the city of the 30 knights, the second most important in the country, located in the north-central region of the Cibao Valley, is the ideal destination for you.
This metropolitan city, not only offers culture, it is also praised for its varied and colorful gastronomy, which has been developed under the influences of the Spanish, African and Taino Indian cuisine.
Among its typical dishes are the guanimos, a legacy of the Taino Indians; another dish typical of the region of Santiago is the chambre, a hot dish ideal for a rainy day consisting of a broth of rice, vegetables and meat.
This imposing city through its streets emerges a majestic architecture, has monuments and museums that narrate the history of Santiago from its origins to the present.
One of them and the most emblematic is the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, a building in the center of the city, considered one of its main attractions, as well as the holder of the largest amount of documentation of the War of Restoration of 1863-1865, between the Dominican Republic and the Spanish army.
Another space whose interior reflects the history of this town is the Fortaleza de San Luis, considered one of the few colonial monuments in Santiago, making it a must-see attraction on your next visit to the Cibao Valley.
Among its important exhibits, this museum displays paintings, Taino sculptures, weapons of all kinds, coins, jewelry, as well as military objects and pieces by Dominican artists of great historical and cultural value.
The Cibao Valley is also one of the most important tobacco producing areas in the world, which is why a visit to La Aurora Cigar World is essential.
This industry is the oldest and most prestigious in the country and as part of its benefits offers guided tours of its plant, an experience in which visitors can learn about the process of creating tobacco, from beginning to end. It also offers a historical tour of the development of the tobacco industry and the tradition behind this product.
Likewise, art and history lovers cannot miss the Eduardo E. León Jiménez Cultural Center, one of the most important museums in the city and in Latin America. It has three permanent exhibition halls and a temporary one where contemporary artists show their creations. Currently, it has about 40 collections related to visual arts, Dominican folklore, archeology, ethnography, Dominican popular culture and much more.
One of the most famous churches in Santiago de los Caballeros is the Cathedral of Santiago Apostle, another imposing building that you should include in your visit to the capital of Cibao.
Not only its Italian-designed façade is worth admiring, but its interior also holds several attractions, since there you will find one of the two copies in the world of “La Piedad”, one of the most famous sculptures of the Italian artist Michelangelo. It also houses a work of Italian Hugo Nardo, called “Four Apostles”.
Santiago has distinguished itself for being one of the cities with the most murals. And one of its most famous streets or neighborhoods is the Pepines neighborhood, the most characteristic and emblematic of the city. This area of the city is an open-air art gallery, since its houses became the canvas for local artists. Thus, urban art explodes in each of its corners. Other moralized spaces are: the monumental area, Independence Street, Francia Avenue, among others.