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In its architecture, the city of Santo Domingo reflects its position as the New World's oldest European-Spanish settlement. The Colonial Zone, in particular, does this. Dating back over 500 years, the Colonial Zone was founded by Christopher Columbus' less famous brother, Bartolmeu. Stone has proven to be the building material of choice (or perhaps, neccessity).
The Alcazar de Colon/Columbus Palace is a stone fortress/home where Columbus and his family lived for a short time. Outrageously, the building was eventually abandoned, turned into a dump, and left in ruins until 1957. At this time, master stonecutters began restoration, staying as true as possible to the building's original architecture and design.
The Palacio de Borgella/Palace of Borgella was designed with a Caribbean flavor. Its large, expansive arches were meant to reflect the wealth of its owner, G.M. Borgella. Though damaged by a hurricane in 1998, it, too, has been restored.
The Reloj de Sol/Sundial was built a few hundred years later than the others - in 1753 - but is still one of the oldest sundials in the New World. The dial has two faces, facing southeast and southwest for morning and afternoon hours, respectively.
A more recent architectural feat is the Faro a Colon/Columbus Lighthouse, built to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World. The lighthouse, 693 feet long and built in the shape of a cross, sits at a 45 degree angle. Opinions vary regarding its asthetic appeal, but on those rare nighttime occasions when it is lit, everyone agrees that the lights are something to behold.