Currency of the Dominican Republic 20 Pesos Oro banknote 1988 Altar de la Patria
Central Bank of the Dominican Republic - Banco Central de la República Dominicana
Obverse: View of the Altar de la Patria in Santo Domingo at center. Seal of the Central Bank of the Republic at left and the nominal value of the banknote on the right. Blossoms of the Mahogany Tree, La caoba (Swietenia mahagoni), formerly (1957-2011) the national flower and now the national tree of the Dominican Republic.
Signatures: Roberto Saladín (Gobernador del Banco Central) and Roberto Martínez Villanueva (Secretario de Estado de Finanzas).
Reverse: Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic at upper center. View of La Puerta del Conde (The Count's Gate) in Santo Domingo.
Printer: Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, London, England.
Dimensions: 156 x 67 mm.
Dominican Republic Banknotes - Dominican Republic Paper Money
500 Pesos Oro banknote 1992 Commemorative issue of Quincentennial of First Landfall by Christopher Columbus in the New World 1492-1992
El Altar de la Patria, or The Altar of the Homeland, is a white marble mausoleum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic that houses the remains of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Matías Mella, collectively known as Los Trinitarios. Within the mausoleum there are statues of the founding fathers, carved by Italian sculptor Nicholas Arrighini; there is as well an "eternal flame" that is kept lit in memory of the patriots. The Altar is within the Baluatre del Conde and is the main attraction of the Parque Independencia (Independence Park).
From left to right, the tombs of Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, Juan Pablo Duarte, and Matías Ramón Mella, the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic
In 1912, the Puerta del Conde was redesigned by architect Antonin Nechodoma to its present state; no longer was there a street passing through the park. This redesign later facilitated the construction of the Altar de la Patria in 1976. The Altar was located at the center of El Parque Independencia by architect Cristian Martínez Villanueva.
Prior to being placed in the Altar de la Patria, the remains of the founding fathers were kept at Capilla de los Inmortales de la Catedral de Santo Domingo (Chapel of the Immortals of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo). From March 27, 1943, they were kept at La Puerta del Conde for 33 years, before they found their final resting place in the then newly built Altar de la Patria.
Puerta del Conde
La Puerta del Conde (The Count's Gate) is the site in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, one of the Dominican Founding Fathers, proclaimed Dominican independence and raised the first Dominican Flag, on February 27, 1844.
The gate is part of a structure called El Baluarte del Conde (The Count's Bulwark), a fort in Ciudad Colonial, the colonial area of Santo Domingo. The fort was part of a larger system of fortifications that ran along a defensive wall which surrounded Ciudad Colonial. The Altar of the Fatherland and Independence Park are located there.
The construction of this site began in 1543 and the site was originally named Fort San Genaro. It was designed to defend Santo Domingo from invading armies and attacks by pirates and corsairs.
The murralla (defensive wall) was modified in 1655 after the English, led by William Penn and Robert Venables, undertook the Siege of Santo Domingo. The invasion was thwarted by Spanish troops commanded by the Captain General of the Colony, Don Bernardino de Meneses y Bracamonte, Count of Peñalva. Due to his valor, the site was named in his honor La Puerta del Conde. The muralla was appended to Fort San Genaro and the structures became indistinguishable and known since 1655 as La Puerta del Conde.
El Baluarte del Conde was a typical model of the school of 17th-century bastion fortresses of Italian influence, which are preserved in the Caribbean as a major legacy of 17th-century fortifications. The city's defensive wall reached its full footprint by about the 18th century with the addition of various defensive structures, effectively enclosing Colonial Santo Domingo in a pentagonal wall. La Puerta del Conde was the western entrance into Colonial Santo Domingo. Not much remains of the defensive walls which once surrounded the entire city, except for several sections with gates and forts, including: La Puerta del Conde, La Puerta de la Misericordia, Fuerte San Jose, Fuerte Santa Barbara, Fuerte San Gil, etc.
Contemporary Dominican Republic
Today, La Puerta del Conde serves as the main entrance to El Parque Nacional (The National Park), also referred to as Independence Park. Inscribed above the arch of La Puerta del Conde is "ỉDulce et Decori est pro patria moriḯ", in Latin, which means "It is indeed sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland". El Baluarte del Conde is a symbol of independence and contains several monuments and structures which attest to the Dominican struggle for freedom. It is common to refer to the fort as La Puerta del Conde/Parque Nacional, being that these are the two most visible and relevant symbols of the Dominican Republic; the park is where the Altar de la Patria (the Altar of the Fatherland) is located.
El Parque Independencia (Independence Park) is a historic park within the confines of El Baluarte del Conde so named because it contains the site where Dominican independence was proclaimed in 1844. The Altar de la Patria (see below) is located in the Park. Parque Independencia is nowadays only bound by a section of the original defensive wall, La Puerta del Conde. In 1912, the Park was redesigned by architect Antonin Nechodoma to its present state; no longer was there a street passing through the park. This redesign later facilitated the construction of the Altar de la Patria.