Museo de la Familia Dominicana

Another short post. Most of the Dominican Republic posts so far tend to run on the short side. I think it has to do with the audio guides, I tend to retain more information when I read rather then when I listen. So the solution for this is that next time I come across an audio guided museum, I need to jot down notes in addition to taking photos. For now, let’s continue…

Museo de la Familia Dominicana, located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
(Museum of the Dominican Family)

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The Museum of the Dominican Family is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and open Sunday from 9am to 4pm. Admission to the museum is 100RD, which roughly converts to 2-4USD, depending on conversion rates. Admission also comes with an audio guide in several languages, so don’t forget to ask for one since there aren’t any descriptions in the museum. The museum is located in the Zona Colonial, so if you’re already there, you can reach the museum easily by walking; however if you’re not, taxis are the most common form of transportation (especially if you don’t speak Spanish). The Museum of the Dominican Family is located close to several other sites, such as the Parque Colon (Columbus Park) and the Catedral Primada de America, so one can call it a day trip and visit all of the places.

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The museum is located in the Casa de Tostado, which was built in the 16th century and belonged to writer Francisco Tostado. The architectural features of the building is not to be missed, especially the double Gothic window over the front entrance (see first image of post) which is said to be the only one of its kind in the Americas. The museum itself features a variety of furniture and artifacts belonging to a wealthy Dominican family in the 19th century. As such, we see a variety of sitting room, dining room and kitchen furnishings on the first floor. Also on the first floor is a very nice courtyard where visitors can take a stroll.

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The stairway leading to the second floor has a rather simple stained glass window that I wouldn’t mind having. (I like the simple color blocks, and I’m quite happy that the image captured all the colors properly.) There is a spiral staircase on the second floor that leads to the roof of the building (and apparently you maybe able to go up to it if you ask the people at the admission desk, but I’m not sure as my Spanish is nonexistent, so I didn’t ask.) The second floor is filled with furniture and art for various sitting rooms and bed rooms.

My buddy and I spent about 1/2 hour at the museum, we listened to the audio and looked at the various items on display. I also spent some time taking photos, so other visitors may take more or less time than we did. The audio guide is another short one, maybe 15 minutes or so. I think increasing the audio guide length will enhance the museum experience as visitors will get a more thorough understanding of the furnishings. Another option to consider is to provide guided tours of the museum as they are more engaging and interactive then the audio guides (and maybe the visiting the roof through the spiral staircase can be incorporated into the tour). Anyone interested in history and architecture will enjoy the museum, and the museum is more suitable for adults than children. If you are in Santo Domingo, check out the Museum of the Dominican Family, and see how families lived in 19th century Dominican Republic.

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