The Alcazar de Colon is one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. For many people, a visit to Santo Domingo will not be complete without visiting this historical palace.
The palace can be found at Calle La Atarazana. You will find it at the base of Calle Las Damas. It is at the bluffs of the River Ozama.
What to See
The edifice is the home of the Museo Alcazar de Diego Colon. The collection here is a gathering of Renaissance and European art. These art pieces were obtained sometime during the 1950s. One of the most impressive is the Tapestry collection. Dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries, they include works by the Van Den Hecke family.
The whole palace / museum is laden with tapestries and paintings of different types. The place is also known for its precious antiques from the 16th century. The Alcazar de Colon also leads to the 16th century Puerto de San Diego.
Apart from the collections, the palace itself is impressively built. It is made up of coralline blocks. They once contained 50 rooms. Several courtyards and gardens were also built. Only about half of them remain.
The Colon is the most ancient Viceregal home in America. The structure was constructed under the auspices of Diego Colon, the offspring of Christopher Columbus. He ordered the construction in 1509 when he became Viceroy of La Espanola. The palace was very important during the Spanish colonial period. Evidence shows that majority of the explorations and conquests were hatched in here.
The palace was destroyed in 1586 by the forces of Sir Francis Drake. The palace fell into disrepair as the power slipped from Santo Domingo. It was abandoned by the 18th century. It was during the mid 1950s that the government started restoring it.
The admission fee is RD 50.
The palace is located in the Colonial Zone where the European settlements began. Aside from the palace, other 15th and 16th century complexes are the Cathedral and the Ozama Fort, all constructed at the same time as the Colon. There are also several churches, notably the Convento de los Dominicos and the Iglesia Regina Angelorum.
For several decades, the Alcazar de Colon was the focal point of the Spanish court. Today, it has become one of the most popular tourist spots in the Dominican Republic.