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    Centro LeonCentro Leon Cibao, Dominican Republic
    One of the city's finest attractions is the Centro Leon that is a marvelous multi-faceted cultural center that has been separated into four galleries that house collections about the local history and anthropology, Dominican art and a mock tobacco factory where you can enjoy watching their famous cigars being made and even try one afterwards. In 1964, the first Art Contest Eduardo Leon Jimenes was held with the dual purpose of promoting the development of the visual arts and to encourage creativity in the many new artists that were rising. In his inaugural speech, Don Eduardo Leon Asensio said that a new museum would have to be constructed sometime in the future to house the many beautiful and outstanding works of art that would become part of a collection. In 1999 that prediction would come true, when the Eduardo Leon Jimenes Foundation was created by Jose A. Leon Asenio started the preparatory work for the new construction of the Centro Cultural Eduardo Leon Jimenes. He would start getting spontaneous donations, acquisitions of major art collections, loans, transfers, ethnological, literature and archaeological materials that pertained to the country's history and culture. The collections would have to be catalogued, numbered and preserved so that they could be showcased in the proper way. Today, the center not only houses marvelous collections, but it also hosts workshops, music performances, film festivals and artistic seminars. Their collections of anthropological and ethnological relics span over 5000 years of Dominican history, from the pre-Columbian times to the present period. One special exhibition has been dedicated to the visual arts and evolution of Dominican art and its influences, filled with outstanding examples of installation art by both national and international artists, drawings, paintings, photographs and paintings. Another exhibit depicts the folklore of the Dominican Republic and the remainder of Latin America, with concerts, temporary exhibits and film screenings.

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    Fortaleza San LuisFortaleza San Luis Cibao, Dominican Republic
    This fort is located near the Yaque del Norte River in the Cibao area of the Dominican Republic, and was the locale for numerous battles during the War of Restoration, and then later became a municipal prison before becoming a museum. The fort was initially established as a military school and in 1875, graduated its first class of cadets from Officers training in the Yaque Battalion. It would add a new garrison in 1881, next to the armory, and in 1884, a military hospital would be also installed. President Ulises Heureaux would donate a clock tower to the fort that would be installed in 1886. In 1861, Pedro Santana would re-annex the Dominican Republic to Spain, and the fort would be occupied by four Spanish infantries under the command of Colonel Ramon de Portal y Santo Domingo, until the War of Restoration would cause the Dominican forces to repel the Spanish, and in 1863, the fort would be recaptured by the Dominicans. In 1916, the US would occupy the country, with 1500 marines from the 4th Division would hold the fort, and by 1924, the marines would leave under the political goals of stabilization. During 2004, it was remodeled into a museum and funded by the government, private sector and philanthropists.

May 6, 2011