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Two major mining areas resulted, one along San Cristobal-Buenaventura, and another in Cibao within the La Vega-Cotuy-Bonao triangle, while Santiago de los Caballeros, Concepcion, and Bonao became mining towns. Ferdinand II of Aragon "ordered gold from the richest mines reserved for the Crown." Thus, Ovando expropriated the gold mines of Miguel Diaz and Francisco de Garay in 1504, as pit mines became royal mines, though placers were open to private prospectors.Furthermore, Ferdinand wanted the "best Indians" working his royal mines, and kept 967 in the San Cristobal mining area supervised by salaried miners.By 1519, according to Pons, "Both the gold economy and the Indian population became extinct at the same time." The Alcázar of Colón, located in Santo Domingo, is the oldest Viceregal residence in all of the Americas.It was built for and used by Diego Columbus and his descendents.A civil war in 1965, the country's last, was ended by U. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978.
Within a few years after 1492 the population of Taínos had declined drastically, due to smallpox, The last record of pure Taínos in the country was from 1864.
The colony of Santo Domingo became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the oldest continuously inhabited city, and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World.