Santo Domingo Monochromes

12-14 September 2016, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Art vendor in the centre of the old city.

Catedral Primada de America.

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Around the block from the Cathedral.

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Inside the Cathedral.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Museo Casa de Tostado.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

A statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés in front of the Tower of Homage.

Fortaleza Ozama.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This vehicle was parked in the street right outside where we were staying, in the centre of the old city.

Wandering in Santo Domingo.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes or the Church of Our Lady of the Mercedes.

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Calle Hostos.

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Monasterio de San Francisco.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Alcázar de Colón.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Museo de las Casas Reales.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Edges of the Old City.

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Black and White, Cars, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Edges of the Old City (Santo Domingo)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 14 September 2016

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Stepping out from the Museo de las Casas Reales, we encounter a driver with horse and cart, eager to take us for a ride (though we continued on foot).  You may need to click on the image to see it properly but towards the top right is a very old street sign.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it is from the early sixteenth century.

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Walking along the street the horse and cart came from, this is Hostal Nicolas de Ovando, a four star hotel.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

I know approximately where this is but not what it is.  Perhaps an old monastery.

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This is Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Carmen, attached to Iglesia de los Dominicos, or the Dominican Convent.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is a statue of Ingenio Maria del Hostos.  He was a Puerto Rican intellectual who agitated for the independence of Puerto Rico and Cuba at the turn of the twentieth century.  (Instead, they were colonised by the United States).  He ended up living in Santo Domingo.  We are probably in Parque Duarte.

 

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A charming side street.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

An overgrown ruin.  I think, a former religious building.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The white building bears the sign Fundación Virgen Del Perpetuo Socorro Inc, so I can tell we are in Calle 19 de Marzo, or 19th March Street.  19th March 1844 was the date when an invading Haitian army was defeated in battle.

 

Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

We are down by the river now and this is Frey Antonio de Ovando.  What can he be shouting out?  Get out of the river?  How do I find my way back to Hostal Nicolas de Ovando?  Help, I’ve got a plant growing on my back and a lightbulb implanted in my head?

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No, it’s Help!  I have a cannon pointed at me!

There could be a reason for that.  He arrived with thirty ships in 1502, became Governor, treated the Indians with great brutality and was recalled for that reason in 1509.

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An ancient door and facade of a religious institution.

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The lizard doorknocker!

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Somewhere around here, a man in dreadlocks appeared and told us it was not safe to walk in this area with cameras, and also invited us to his restaurant that night.

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This is La Puerta del Conde, now the main entrance to El Parque Nacional or Independence Park..

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Some of the detail is interesting.  The statue of the soldier (probably an independence leader).  The soldiers in the shadows at the left.  The cannon pointing down the street.

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We are now in the Altar de la Patria, a mausoleum dedicated to the three founding fathers from the 1844 War of Independence, Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Matías Mella,.

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Still in the same area, we are at El Baluarte del Conde (The Count’s Bulwark), part of the City fortifications dating from 1543.

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With cannons to keep the streets safe…..

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The old and the somewhat new.

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Zonabici, sign for a bicycle rental shop near where we were staying.  This is the last image from our stay in Santo Domingo.

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Museo de las Casas Reales

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 14 September 2016

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Our next stop was Museo de las Casas Reales, or Museum of the Royal houses.  Built in 1511, this was the Real Audience (Royal Audience) or Royal Court of Justice, and also the Palace of the Governors and the General Captaincy until the west side of Hispaniola was ceded to France in 1799 and those functions moved to Cuba.

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These are pages from the first book written in Spanish in the Americas.  It is the navigational diaries of Christopher Columbus and the book of the privileges granted to him by the Crown.

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This must be the Santa Maria.

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The Golden Hind, Drake’s ship.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The museum houses the history of the island from 1492 until 1821.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The Pharmaceutical Products industry, founded in the sixteenth century, incorporated both Indian and Spanish knowledge.  It was established by a Spaniard married to an Indian named Antonio de Villa-Sante and featured a balm for many ailments derived from the guacunax tree.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Rifles from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.

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Persian helmet, shield and arm guards.  Also Turkish sword.  Eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.

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Apparently a Grand Reception Hall.

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An eighteenth century warship, I’d say, but I didn’t record the label.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Santo Domingo in 1785.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Presumably the “throne” of the Governor.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Museo de las Casas Reales, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The portrait at the left is of Francisco de Vitoria (1486 – 1546), known for his defence of the rights of Indians against the settlers and his advocacy of the limits of justifiable warfare.

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Alcázar de Colón

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 14 September 2016

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

 

On our way from Monasterio de San Francisco to Alcázar de Colón, we passed the doorway to Casa del Cordon (which is not open to the public).  It was built in the very early 16th century and is be3lieved to be the oldest stone house in the Americas.  For a period from 1509 it was home to Diego Columbus, son of Christopher and Governor at the time.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

Now we are inside Alcázar de Colón (or Castle of Columbus) which is now a museum.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Diego Columbus moved here from Casa de Cordon after it was built.  Wikipedia says that Alcázar de Colón is the only known residence of Diego, which is clearly wrong.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It was built between 1510 and 1514 of coral rocks, using 1,500 actually or effectively enslaved Taino Indians.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It once had fifty-five rooms and a number of gardens and courtyards.  It now has twenty-two rooms which are open to the public.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The Columbus family lived here until 1577.  In 1586 Sir Francis Drake plundered it.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

From the mid-eighteenth century it was abandoned and fell into ruins.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It was restored between 1955 and 1957 although there was controversy at the time of the historical sensitivity of this project.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The Palaza houses works of art from the 14th to 17th centuries.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The painting is presumably Christopher and Diego, and the model the Santa Maria.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Out on the street again.

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Alcázar de Colón, Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The little metal globes on the kerb were used for the tying of horses.

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Thredbo Blues Festival 2020

Thredbo Blues Festival 2020 took place over three days and nights on a weekend at the end of January. Here is a selection of images, and links at the bottom to more….

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(Next I will resume with the Cuba & the Caribbean trip, with still a post or two to go on Santo Domingo.)

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Psycho Zydeco.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tony Boyd (Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers).\

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Shane Pacey (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paul Blasi (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

George Washingmachine (Blue Rinse).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ron King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jeff King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Grace Hickey (Grace and Hugh).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Ohlback (Liza Ohlback Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Lloyd Gyi and C J Raggatt (CJ Raggatt).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Syd Green (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Kane Dennelly (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ray Beadle (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jack Purdon (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Mike Raper (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel
Corey Legge (Swamp Stompers).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Steve Edmonds (Steve Edmonds Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Sam Boyd (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Carger and Jason Bruer (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Evelyn Duprai (and Franchesca Appolis) (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Franchesca Appolis and Kimi Tupaea (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paula Baxter (Aretha Franklin Tribute).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Aretha Franklin Tribute.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

8 Ball Aitken.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Nik Downing (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James and 8 Ball Aitken (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Darren Jack (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Rick Melick (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band.

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A few technical notes for those who may be interested.  I was using some new equipment, a Nikon D850 (70% of shots) and a Sigma 135mm f1.8 (40% of images).  This combination allowed me to replace a 180mm f2.8 and a 105mm f2 with improved resolution and bokeh and greater capacity to crop.  I also have a Fuji system which is more portable but the Nikon system has advantages for resolution, autofocus and low light sensitivity.  I also processed all the images under stage light in Capture One for the first time, for greater control of colour and greater ease with masking and layers.

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There are many more images. On the Thredbo Blues Festival Page you will find links to images from the 2020 Festival, as well as thirteen previous festivals . Links for 2020 include top 100 images, top 30 images, selected monochromes and the 23 performers or bands. Others not mentioned above include Phil & Trudy Edgeley, Charlie Bedford Trio, Claude Hay, Harry Ashton Band, Jordan Thomas Band, Mike Elrington and Richard Perso.

Alternatively, there is also a direct overall link to all Thredbo 2020 images in JAlbum (with overview images and images by band organised by folder). There are 367 images in all (excluding monochrome conversions).

For other images of a particular band I may have taken since 2006, see the Musicians and Bands Page.

Monasterio de San Francisco

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 14 September 2016

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monasterio de San Francisco, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The Monasterio de San Francisco was the first monstery in the Americas.  It was first built in wood in 1508 and rebuilt in stone between 1523 and 1556.

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It was sacked by Drake in 1586 and fully repaired in 1664.  Then it was destroyed again by a cyclone in 1673.

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Beehive on a wall.

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In 1808, in a particularly tumultuous period of Dominican history, the French were in control but had just lost the Battle of Palo Hincado about a hundred kilometres away to Spanish insurgents.  They mounted a cannon on a wooden platform atop the vault and fired two rounds.  On the second, the vault collapsed and was never reconstructed.

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Pigeons adding their own particular brand of mortar to the building.

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Remaining parts of the buildings were used as an insane asylum from 1880 until 1930 when Cyclone San Zenón laid waste to much of what remained and that was never repaired either.

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Currently on Sundays, live bands play Merengue, Bachata, Salsa and Son, but we were unfortunately not there on a Sunday.

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Two posts ago I covered the spectacularly chequered history of Hispaniola and the Dominican Republic.  If you haven’t read that you might like to go back and look at it now.

What I would like to do now is to cover the effect of Karma in that history, from a modern social democrat perspective.

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First the Spanish came to an island with one to two million Taino Indians, living in peace, certainly by the standards of what followed.  The Spanish may not have been socially more advanced but they had armour, steel, horses and guns.  After fifty years there were not many Taino left. Many of them died of disease incubated by the insanitary conditions the Spanish lived in in their homeland.  Had they retained more of the town planning even of the Romans and had they learned more from the Arabs they conquered in Andalusia, this may have been less of an issue.

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Many Taino were slaughtered and many others perished in inhumane servitude, a consequence of the Spanish greed for Power and Gold.  So since they had wiped out most of the Taino, they reverted to importing Africans as slaves.  Of course they treated them just as savagely and many escaped to live with Taino in the mountains.  After only fifty years the settlers needed armed bands to travel between settlements with some safety.

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Then in Europe, the Dutch fought them for their independence and began trading with Spanish settlers on the north and west coasts of Hispaniola for salt they were excluded from.  The Administration catastrophically pulled back their settlers from these coasts to prevent this trade and opened the door to the French, who took over what is now Haiti (then called Sainte-Domingue).  Sainte-Domingue because the wealthiest corner of the Caribbean but it was built on brutal slavery and 90% of the population were slaves (6% were white and 4% free coloureds who might own slaves).

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Then of course the slaves revolted and took over all of Hispaniola for a while but if you have a tradition of authoritarian government and instability it’s not so easy to replace.  Even today, Haiti has become one of the poorest countries in the world and political stability is tenuous while the Dominican Republic, though not without problems, is in a much better place.

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Wiping out most of the Indians and introducing slavery may have seemed like a good idea at the time to some but it was quickly destructive and counter-productive to all, and authoritarian political systems create their own catastrophes sooner or later.

So what could they have done?  The basic problem was the greed, violence and intolerance of the time and that wasn’t restricted to the Spanish.  The gold was ultimately a delusion, they wasted that on unwinnable wars in Europe anyway.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monasterio de San Francisco, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

So let’s contemplate an extreme counterfactual alternative history.  First, before they turned up in the West Indies, they needed to have developed a society characterised by democracy and social justice with good planning, sewerage, medical knowledge and education for all.  Then they could have offered a partnership to the Taino Indians and if they needed additional labour, they could have offered paid employment to Africans and full citizenship of a multicultural society.  Instead of supressing the Dutch they could have negotiated independence for them and a naval partnership.  Then Hispaniola would have been likely to have had a much more successful history.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monasterio de San Francisco, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Of course the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella was just slightly different than that.  And it’s easy for us to say, living in a society where there is no greed, income and wealth are equitably distributed, everyone is well-educated  and we take good care of the environment.

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Architecture, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Monasterio de San Francisco, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Hold on a sec, maybe that’s not quite right.  How will the future look on us?  Will they consider us any better or even worse?  How much and who will even be left?

We clearly need to improve in terms of arresting global warming, industrial and agricultural pollution, economic & social inequity and general overpopulation.  It all hangs in the balance and notwithstanding our individual cocoons of comfort or discomfort, it’s up to us to generate as much positive effect as we can, both collectively and as individuals.

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Wandering in Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 14 September 2016

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This morning we headed on foot to the ruined monastery of San Francisco.  Usually I show the images sequentially but since my shots of the monastery are interspersed with images from nearby streets, I have separated them out for the next post.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This vehicle was parked in the street right outside where we were staying, in the centre of the old city.  Its headlights are in less than perfect condition, it lacks a front bumper and numberplate, it is held together with twine, the windscreen is cracked and it has a severe case of rust.  Apart from that, it’s probably in perfect condition.  It may be that it’s not a new vehicle off the showroom floor.  I suspect you wouldn’t last very long though driving it around Canberra.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Just around the corner from where we were staying was an old church which we had noticed the previous day and it was open so we visited.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It seemed as though it must be The Church of the Working Man because of the figure at the altar.  He appears to be merely cleaning it though.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It is in fact Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes or the Church of Our Lady of the Mercedes and there is usually an impressively attired female figure at the altar.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The Señora de las Mercedes is the patron Saint of the island.  This is presumably her, off to the right of the altar, but a different representation usually stands on the altar.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It is one of the oldest churches in Santo Domingo, constructed between 1527 and 1555.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Looking up.  (Fisheye HDR).

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

It was sacked by Drake in 1586 and damaged by cyclones in the 1590s and 1628, and by an earthquake in 1615.  It was later restored though so much of it is not original.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Actually deciphering the Latin inscription is another thing, but this appears to be the tomb of a bishop from 1644.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Old buildings on the street (This one a largely corrected fisheye image).

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The ruined monastery of San Francisco in the background.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is now Calle Hostos.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This section features some very old workers’ cottages, protected by UNESCO listing.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

A corner of the ruined monastery of San Francisco in the background.

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Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

Architecture, Calle Hostos, Dominican Republic, History, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, Landscape, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .