La Vega Vieja
La Vega Vieja, founded in 1494 by Christopher Columbus, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1562. It is, with La Isabela on the north coast, the main archaeological site dating from this period. The Spanish crown declared it a city in 1505, granting it a coat of arms in 1508, while the Pope made it one of the first three bishoprics of the Americas in 1511, appointing the first bishop of the New World (Fray Pedro Suárez de Deza). Viceroy Don Diego Colomb installed his summer palace here. The town developed rapidly due to its foundry that melted down gold.