Built between 1502 and 1507 on the orders of the governor Nicolas de Ovando in order to protect the city from pirates, Fortaleza Ozama was the first European fortress and military building in America. A stone rampart separates it from the Ozama river, after which it was named. It is accessible from Calle de las Damas, the New World's first ever street. Once inside, visitors walk around a large garden in which stands the bronze statue of Don Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, a famous 16th century chronicler, the author of the Americas' first history chronicle. The whole thing is overlooked by Torre del Homenaje (Homage tower), a massive Medieval tower made of coral stone. This square building dates from 1503 and holds a spiral iron staircase. From the top of its 60ft, you will be able to see the whole city and the river. Ships entering the harbour used to be greeted from the top of this tower, hence its name, 'homage'. In 1937, dictator Trujillo reinforced it with a crenellated rampart and turned it into a prison until 1970. In the background, Carlos III gate, one of the oldest accesses to the fortress, was never taken by force!