The Dominican Republic (/dəˈmɪnɪkən/ də-MIN-ik-ən; Spanish: República Dominicana, pronounced [reˈpuβlika ðominiˈkana] (About this soundlisten)) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with Haiti, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest nation in the Antilles by area (after Cuba) at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third-largest by population with approximately 10.8 million people (2020 est.), of whom approximately 3.3 million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city. The official language of the country is Spanish.
Santo Domingo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsanto ðoˈmiŋɡo] meaning “Saint Dominic”), once known as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 2,908,607, when including the metropolitan area. The city is coterminous with the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional (“D.N.”, “National District”), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.
Founded by the Spanish in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and then moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city’s Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað tɾuˈxiʝo]), from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation.
Santo Domingo is the cultural, financial, political, commercial and industrial center of the Dominican Republic, with the country’s most important industries being located within the city. Santo Domingo also serves as the chief seaport of the country. The city’s harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates the largest vessels, and the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic. Temperatures are high year round, with cooler breezes during winter time.