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City of Azúa de Compostela

Date of Submission: 21/11/2001
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Delegacion Permanente de la Republica Dominicana ante la UNESCO
Coordinates: 70°37' W / 18°25' N
Ref.: 1709

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The old village of Azúa, it was founded in the year 1504 by Diego Velazquez, during the government Nicolas of Ovando. In December of 1508, by providence of the Crown of Spain, it was granted a coat of arms, the same as other villages of the Spaniard. Azúa was plundered by corsairs and pirates in the middle of the XVI century. Little less than one century later it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1751. The inhabitants reconstructed it beside the river Via. With the result that it is also known as the City of the Via". The ruins of the old city, attest the last existence of a church, a cemetery, a convent park and other buildings; which area clear indication that the village achieved a state of progress.

The economic peak of the town was due to the sugar. Here was developed the sewing and the industry through the mills and trapiches, of those that the village Compostela ended up having ten. In 1575, the village of Compostela was destroyed completely by an earthquake and transferred by the father Juan Montaño to the place that occupies today, beside the river Via, 12 kilometers to the north of the original stablishment.

In the area the ruins of the convent of the Grace, old church and the surrounding remains can be observed, like it is the case of the tramojos. This inter is reconstructs the uneven step of the history of an indigenous race. This whole history has been exposed in the Archaeological and Historical Museum of Azúa, Aristides Estrada Torres, where the visitors make made their a journey of the archaeological samples of the aboriginal establishments and localization of the same ones, where pieces, are exhibited, bones, that allows them to appreciate the taino art. And the colonial and republican history of Azúa.

Azúa makes its tourist contribution to the Southwest region, in the cultural conventional aspect. The creation of the Historical Park of Old Town with the restoration of the ruins of their churches, of the event of the Grace and of the old colonial mill that belonged to Hernando Gorjon it is one of the first factors that should be taken into account. For those ends, the State should acquire the lands bordering the church of Old Town, or the transfer of the residents will become the authentic watchmen of those important vestiges of our history. It is one of the few places where the inhabitants have conscience of the importance of a cultural park.