The Alcazar de Colon is one of the most memorable monuments in the Dominican Republic. It is a very interesting place to visit if you want to see more of the country. You can go by airplane, rent a car, hire a cab or take a bus for going to the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo. The piece of architecture is located around 4 hours or 146 miles away from the area of Punta Cana.
The Alcazar is well known for being the former residence of Diego Columbus; who was the son of Christopher Columbus.
Once he was appointed as the viceroy of the new world Diego decided to order the construction of a new residence for him, his wife Maria de Toledo and some relatives. This new house was designed to be the governor’s mansion which included a lot of renaissance decoration. The place was built sometime after 1510 and Diego lived there until he was forced to return to Spain and abandon his viceroy position for the last time in 1523.
After Diego passed away his family remained in the residence for several generations until 1577. Sometime later around 1586, the famous pirate sir Francis Drake invaded the Hispaniola and ransacked the mansion taking all the valuables he could find with him. Two centuries later, the house was completed abandoned until in 1870 it was declared a national monument.
The Alcazar de Colon had a very important role in the history of the Dominican Republic. During the beginning of the Spanish conquest; this was the focal point of the new world government. It was from that location that many orders were given for the expansion of the Spanish empire.
The current appearance of the house is not the same as it was four centuries ago. It was rebuilt between 1955 and 1957 by Javier Barroso. It was his inspiration that created the design that can be seen today. Originally the building had about fifty rooms but after more than four centuries approximately half of them are gone.
Today the construction harbors a two story museum where you can find fascinating works of art of the medieval period. Some of the masterpieces exhibited there include tapestries dating from the 15th century. The museum opens from 9 am to 5 pm and the entrance costs around RD 100 (or $2.50 USD) per person.