Ciudad Colonial boasts of being Santo Domingo’s most historic and iconic neighborhood with its romantic, cultural and lively setup. The area was built by Spanish colonialists who built the walled city with the aim of making it a model city for the rest of the Americas. Most of the buildings and structures stand intact and have been tastefully converted into boutique hotels, sophisticated restaurants and quaint shops. The site was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and is more popularly known as Zona Colonial, meaning the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. It is because of this region that the city has earned its reputation as one of the most beautiful places which showcase the culture and history of the colonial era. The site also has many other monuments which are the oldest in all the Americas – the oldest cathedral, the first paved street, the first monastery, the first hospital, the first university and the first military fortress.