La Puerta del Conde, symbol of Dominican Patriotism. This historical gate is also the entrance to el Parque Independecia--officially known as Altar de la Patria. The construction of this site was commissioned by the Captain General of the Colony, don Bernardino de Meneses y Bracamonte, Conde de Peņalva. Its construction was completed in 1655 and originally named Fort San Genaro. It was designed to defend the city of Santo Domingo from invading armies and relentless attacks by Caribbean pirates. This is the place where Francisco del Rosario Sanchez raised the first Dominican flag, thereby proclaiming Dominican independence on February 27, 1844. El Parque Independencia is also home to the national mausoleum for the founding fathers: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sanchez, and Ramon Matias Mella. This National Shrine is located at the heart of la Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo; it can also be found in the hearts of Dominicans living at home and around the world.