La Romana History, Dominican Republic
La Romana is the third biggest city in the Dominican Republic. The city is the capital of the La Romana province in the southeastern part of the country. The city is situated opposite the Catalina Island. The city was named Romana after the balance that was used by the early settlers to weigh export merchandise.
La Romana History
The history of La Romana is intertwined with sugar. However, tobacco had also contributed to the development of the town over the years. The town was created as a settlement in 1502 by Juan De Esquivel. However, the development of the city had occurred only in the last 100 years. Unlike the other towns of the Dominican Republic, La Romana had been an industrial and business center from the beginning of the twentieth century, apart from the tourism industry that marks all the cities of this enchanting country.
Cave of Miracles
The Cave of Miracles or Cueva de las Maravillas, as it is known locally, had been the gift of the early inhabitants of this scenic sea resort. The tour of the caves takes nearly an hour. The tourists travel in small groups along well lit paths. The cave formations are spectacular to say the least. These monstrous caves are full of intricate patterns of stalactites and stalagmites. Even after the passage of several thousand years, these fabulous rock formations are still in formation mode with drops of rich calcium adding further layers to the existing ones. The caves also house the cave drawings of the native Taino tribe. These ancient art works that number more than 250 are surprisingly well preserved even now. These caves are pure history, with the mystery of the ancient blending beautifully with nature.
Sugar and Cigar
La Romana became an industrial town when the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company constructed a huge sugar factory named Central Romana mill. Rafael Trujillo, the strongman of the Dominican Republic, who took over the operations all the sugar mills during his reign, left this mill alone. Gulf Western took over the mill in the 1960s. However, they disposed of their stake to some local and foreign investors in 1984. The sugar had another effect also on the locals. Sugar is in high production only for six months in a year. During the other six months, the locals indulge in baseball. The home team, the La Romana Azucareros or La Romana Sugar Bowls in English, is a foremost Major League Baseball team in the country. Consolidated Cigar, the tobacco plant in La Romana, was taken over by Gulf Western in 1968. The company shifted its cigar making operations of Canary Island to the La Romana plant. The factory named Tabacalera de Garcia Tobacco is considered as one of the biggest in the world. Since 1999, it had been owned by Altadis, the largest cigar marketer in the world. The three cigar brands of La Romana, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and H. Upmann are famous all over the globe.
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