Alcantarilla Colonial (Colonial Sewers) – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Atlas Obscura
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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Alcantarilla Colonial (Colonial Sewers)

One of the first sewers in the Americas. 

Sorry, Alcantarilla Colonial (Colonial Sewers) is permanently closed.

Underneath the Zona Colonial, the oldest part of Santo Domingo, Spanish colonists constructed what may be the first sewage system in the New World.

Founded in 1498 by Christopher Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew, the city grew quickly. The original city site was destroyed by a hurricane in 1502, just in time for the arrival of Nicolas de Ovando, the third Governor of the Indies. He moved the city to a new spot and began work on a civic infrastructure for the new settlement.

Beginning in 1502 construction began on a first sewer system named la Alcantarilla de Ovando, or “The Ovando Culvert”.

This first system was adequate to serve the southern part of the city, but with the construction of the Atarazanas (a series of historic homes) in 1509 a second, more advanced system of tunnels was added named la Alcantarilla de Atarazanas.

The Parque Independencia is surrounded by a “moat” of drained colonial sewers that can be explored. Another entrance is outside the Museo del Ron y la Caña on Isabel la Catolica street.

Know Before You Go

permanently closed. (checked on 28/03/2016)