'Republica Dominicana', traditional musicians and singers.
Before 1492: Quisqueya island was inhabited by the Tainos, divided into five kingdoms and ruled by a head chief, or Cacique.
1492: Christopher Columbus discovers the island, renamed Hispaniola.
16th century: the island is forsaken by the Spaniards and taken over by pirates.
1655: the French land on the Western part of the island.
1697: Ryswick treaty shares out Hispaniola between France (Haiti) and Spain.
1795: the Spanish part is annexed to France through the treaty of Basel.
1822: the same territory is annexed by the Republic of Haiti.
1844: the territory becomes independent after a rebellion against Haiti and the Dominican Republic is proclaimed.
1861 - 1865: the country is occupied by the Spanish again.
1916 - 1924: the territory is occupied by the Americans.
1930 - 1961: the Dominican Republic lives under the dictatorship of General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
1965: a civil war breaks out and triggers the military intervention of the United States.
1966: the country becomes a democracy with a parliamentary regime.
1986: Joaquin Balaguer, from the Social Christian Reformist Party, is re-elected after already two mandates in 1966 and 1978.
1994: Joaquin Balaguer is elected president again at the age of 87.
1996: Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Liberation Party is elected president.
1998: Hurricane George devastates the island and the east coast.
1999: President Fernandez comes to Europe and signs the agreements in favour of the encouragement and protection of the investments between the Dominican Republic and France
August 2000: Rafael Hipolito Mejia Dominguez is elected president.
2004: The former liberal president, Leonel Fernandez, of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), is elected in the first round. He wins 56% of the votes, beating the outgoing Social-Democrat Hipolito Mejia (of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD). 2008: Fernandez was re-elected. 2012: Danilo Medina (PLD) was elected president; his aim is to focus on social programs rather than on transport, as with Fernandez.
January 1st: New Year's Day.
January 21st: Our Lady of Altagracia's Day. The Dominicans' spiritual mother is celebrated by evening musical events tinged with music of an African origin .
January 26th: Juan Pablo Duarte festival, the nation's founding father.
February 27th: Independence Day.
April: Good Friday. The four days preceding Easter Monday are punctuated with lots of parties and events on most tourist sites.
May 1st: Labour day.
June 10th: Corpus Christi.
July: Merengue festival, in Santo Domingo, last two weeks of the month. This festival also takes place in Puerto Plata during the last two weeks of October.
August 16th: Restoration Day. The same day - Puerto Plata festival.
September 24th: Our Lady of las Mercedes festival.
October 12th: Commemorations for the discovery of America.
November 6th: Constitution Day.
December 25th: Christmas Day.
From December 12th to January 2nd, the end of year celebrations take place in Parque Central, in Santo Domingo.