Dominican Republic Facts

The Dominican Republic facts can be quite interesting. The Dominican Republic is a country very rich in history and culture. The whole island was called “La Española” after being discovered by Christopher Columbus at the year 1492. The country was the first settlement of the Spaniard empire in the new world and was used to conquer the rest of the territories in the new continent.

Originally the island was inhabited by the Tainos but as the Spaniards continued conquering the island most of them disappeared. Diseases from the Spaniards as well as slavery were causes for their gradual demise. However, before that; many Spaniards managed to marry Taino women, leading to interracial marriage. Later when African slaves were brought to the island they also joined with some of the Tainos further increasing the racial diversity.

One of the Dominican Republic facts that cannot be ignored is that the French were also present on the island as the Spaniards were establishing their territory. They managed to create a settlement in the western part of the island that later became Haiti. Around the year 1795 the whole Hispaniola Island was ceded to France by Spain but a revolt by the slaves complicated the situation for the French losing the western settlement. Later after that; Spain managed to regain control of the remaining part of the island.

Dominican Republic Independence

At some point around the year 1821 Jose Nuñez de Caceres declared the independence of the country but his efforts were frustrated by the Haitian invasion a few weeks later. Haitians ruled the Hispaniola for approximately 2 decades but then the inhabitants got tired of the continuous abuse of the new government. Around the year 1844 new revolts formed against the Haitian army leading to the independence of the Dominican Republic from the Haiti government.

There was a lot of political turmoil in the following decades including the return of the country to Spaniard domain but at the year 1865 Spain finally gave up the island. 

Dominican Republic Facts - Today

Today the Dominican Republic occupies 2/3 of the territory that encompasses the Hispaniola while the remaining part belongs to Haiti. Among all the countries in the Caribbean the Dominican Republic is the second largest and it contains the tallest mountain in the Caribbean (Pico Duarte) and the biggest lake (Lake Enriquillo).

The population of the country is very close to 10.1 million people. The city of Santo Domingo (the capital) is the most populated one with approximately 3,000,000 people. The second is Santiago de los Caballeros with close to 1,400,000 people. The rest of the cities are more evenly populated. The main religion of the country is Roman Catholic as approximately 70% of the population practices it. Protestants cover around the 19% to 20% of the population and the rest are not associated with any particular religion. The main language of the country is Spanish but some English is also taught at the schools as a secondary language.

The currency at the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso; on the other hand, the USD (United States dollar) and the euro (EUR) are commonly accepted at tourist destinations like Punta Cana and also Santo Domingo. Other Dominican Republic Facts that you must be aware of is that the country is the birthplace of the popular rhythm called merengue, a very fast dance music and the bachata (a romantic type of music) which originated in the rural areas of the country.

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