Municipalities and Subdivisions


Pedro García

Baitoa (2014)

La Canela

San Francisco de Jacagua

Hato del Yaque

Villa Bisonó (1961)

Jánico (1881)

Licey al Medio

San José de las Matas (founded 1810)

Tamboril (1900)

Villa González (1915)

Puñal (1937)

Sabana Iglesia (1881)


Early History and Foundation

Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros was founded in 1495 on the banks of the Río Yaque del Norte. For an unknown reason the settlement was moved in 1504 by governor Nicolás de Ovando to the rural community of San Francisco de Jacagua. On July 7, 1508 Queen Juana I granted Santiago the title of Villa and a noble coat of arms. The Jacagua settlement was destroyed by an earthquake on December 2, 1562. The survivors settled on land belonging to Petronila Jáquez de Minaya next to the Río Yaque del Norte.

In 1790, much of Santiago was devoted to the production of tobacco. Major sites of factories for its production extending in the outskirts of the city were:

During the Era de Francia, Santiago began urban planning. Thousands of white Dominicans fled during this time as France took over the entire island. A branch of the Estrella family of Santiago went to Puerto Rico, first to Aguadilla and finally settling in Camuy. Some families returned after Spain was reinstated like the military families of Sargento primero Narciso Román Valerio who was stationed in San Juan and Capitán Domingo Pichardo y del Monte who was stationed in Ceuta, North Africa. In 1805 the city was burned by Haitian forces.

Dominican Restoration War

During the Restoration War, Santiago de los Caballeros was the capital of the Dominican Republic. On August 31, 1863, General Gaspar Polanco led troops to retake the city under Spanish occupation. They attacked September 6th with Polanco making the decision to set fire to part of Santiago surrounding la Fortaleza de San Luis. The fire was exasperated by distilleries owned by Jacinto Ramírez spreading throughout the city. This decision left the city burned to ashes and no longer of strategic value to the Spanish forces. Polanco was promoted to the rank of Generalissimo for the siege of Santiago.