As it was the seat of the Spanish crown in the New World for a whole 60 years, the Alcazar de Colon played a strategic role in the Spanish conquest and colonisation of America. Indeed, it is here that Cortez, Pizzarro, Balboa and Velazquez planned their respective conquest of Mexico, Peru, Panama and Cuba. Originally the residence of Diego Colon, Viceroy of the Indies and Christopher Columbus's son, the Alcazar de Colon was built with coral rock in a mixture of the Mudejar and Gothic styles from 1510 and 1514, thanks to 1,500 natives. Not one nail was used to build this 22-room palace with 72 doors and windows, the first European style palace of the New World, restored in 1955. Decorated with a palm tree on each extremity, the façade has five arches on each of the two levels. All the furniture, paintings and religious objects exhibited inside the building date from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. At the back, a garden opens out to the Ozama River. At night time, the monument is admirably enhanced by the illuminations and the square in front of it comes to life. A gigantic Christmas tree stands on it in December and some sophisticated bars and terraces have set up shop in splendid colonial buildings and are constantly packed to the rafters. Definitely one of the most trendy places in the Colonial Zone.
In fact, it was here that Cortez, Pizzarro, Balboa, and Velazquez planned their conquests of Mexico, Peru, Panama, and Cuba, respectively.© OT Republique Dominicaine
The statue stands facing Santa Maria la Menor Cathedral.© Raphael RICHARD / EASYVOYAGE
The living spaces of Diego Colon and his family, who lived here in the 16th century, have been reconstructed inside the Alcazar.© Raphael RICHARD / EASYVOYAGE
The alcazar-turned museum has come a long way. It was used as a prison and then a warehouse before being left to fall into decay for two centuries.© Raphael RICHARD / EASYVOYAGE
The first European-style palace in the New World, the Alcazar has 22 rooms that can all be visited.© Raphael RICHARD / EASYVOYAGE