Alcázar de Colón

Back to the normal posting cycle, and we are back to the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic was my latest vacation spot, so my back log is finally clearing out. I have enough material for a few months, so let’s continue…

Alcázar de Colón, located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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The Museo Alcázar de Colón is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. (Monday appears to be their rest day, many places are closed, so check beforehand or plan to go on a different day.) Admission to the museum is 100RD, which comes out to around 2-4USD depending on exchange rates. The admission comes with an audio guide in several languages, so remember to grab one because there doesn’t seem to be much description labels in the museum. The museum is located within the Zona Colonial, so it is walk able if you are already there; if not, you can get a taxi to the Zona Colonial. It is also right by the Museo de las Casas Reales, so one can visit both in the same day.

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The Museo Alcázar de Colón is the oldest vice-regal residence in the Americas, dating back to the early 1500s. The museum was originally the home of Christopher Columbus’ son, Diego, and his wife, Doña María de Toledo. On display are a variety of period furniture and accessories that allow visitors to imagine what life was like during Colonial times in Santo Domingo. Also on display is a collection of European Late Medieval and Renaissance art, with the highlights being a variety of unique tapestries. While the art collection and furniture are featured in the audio guide, don’t forget to check out the building itself. The building is two stories tall, and the architecture is something to marvel at. (Even though I can’t tell you what style it is, the building is one of the highlights of my visit. The building transports you back to a different time, it’s so different from modern buildings.)

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The stairs leading to the second floor connects to an outdoor terrace that provides a view of the surrounding area. The second floor continues in the same manner as the first, with rooms decorated by various period furniture, artwork and accessories. One of the more memorable rooms (to me) is a music room, where there are some instruments and other interesting tidbits to look at.

My travel buddy and I spent about 1 hour at the museum, we listened to the audio guide and gave more than a passing glance to the items on display. Thus, as always, other visitors can take more or less time depending on their interest levels. The audio guide itself was probably around 1/2 hour long max, hence it was very brief on the descriptions. If there’s one thing I would suggest to improve is to increase the audio descriptions. I understand that visitors don’t want to be bombarded with information, but in some cases, a one sentence description of an entire room isn’t enough. Nevertheless, the museum was a pleasant experience, and anyone interested in history, art and architecture will definitely enjoy the museum. The Museo Alcázar de Colón is the most visited museum in Santo Domingo, so if you are there, stop by and marvel at this popular site.

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