Universal and International Exhibition of Liege 1905

75th anniversary of national independence

April 25, 1905 - November 6, 1905

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Dominican Republic

manque image

At the very back of the International Section, its exhibition is hidden away as if by a sort of deliberate coquetry. This is a curious and very nice exhibition of a nation that has come from afar, but that wants to show that in its mountain range as well as in its luxuriant plains lives and works a free and active, intelligent and brave people.

Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1492 and the Spaniards, in 1495, built San Domingo, which can claim the glory of being the first European city born in America. The history of this republic is tormented and stormy, for it has known hours of glory and distress. Tamed by foreign domination, it suffered all the bitterness, but barricaded itself in an ardent patriotism until the day when it cut to pieces the expedition that Bonaparte, the first consul, launched against it to force it into obedience, and when it baptised its freedom in the blood of its children and proclaimed its independence over the bodies of its heroes.

In the Antilles archipelago, her flag flies superbly over 53,344 square kilometres.

The stand is especially remarkable for the large number of samples of wood, whose nomenclature alone constitutes a forest catalogue: pomegranate, mulberry, cedar, rose mahogany, rosewood, oak, mora capa, mancenilla, and all those beautiful woods from the islands with exotic names from which the local cabinetmaking industry draws so much profit.

The Haciendas have sent us their flourishing plantations: the coffees of Santo Domingo, which are keen to justify their reputation, the cacao trees, the cultivation of which is becoming very widespread, the sugars, which provide a living for more than a hundred factories, and the tobaccos, which grow with such prodigious ease that two harvests are made every year.
If the Dominican Republic is essentially agricultural, the mining industry shows us that it participates energetically in the prosperity of the country and it aligns in front of us gold-bearing sands, blocks of rock salt, copper ores, iron, while the soap industry and the shoe industry are trying to prove to us that they can both compete with those of Europe.

The various Chambers of Commerce and the individuals who had the laudable initiative of bringing us this charming, interesting and instructive exhibition succeeded beyond all expectations.

If the Dominican Republic wanted to show small Belgium that small nations are capable of great energy and high aims, we would have little cause to complain, since it has allowed us to find in it those qualities and virtues which are our merit as they are its own.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Liège 1905