Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic (the initials D.N. stand for Distrito Nacional - the local equivalent of the District of Columbia). It is located on the southern coast of the island of Hispaniola, on the Caribbean Sea. Founded by Bartolomé Colon, the brother of Christopher Columbus, in 1496, it boasts the oldest university in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1538. Santo Domingo was briefly known as Ciudad Trujillo from 1936 to 1961, as a tribute to the megalomania of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
Santo Domingo is also sometimes called Santo Domingo Centro, to distinguish it from Santo Domingo Este, the part of the city that is outside the Distrito Nacional, and from the province of Santo Domingo.