Palacio Nacional

Santo Domingo

The Dominican seat of government, which occupies most of a city block, was designed by Italian architect Guido D’Alessandro and inaugurated in 1947. Built of Samaná roseate marble in a neoclassical design, the palace is outfitted in grand style with mahogany furniture, paintings from prominent Dominican artists, magnificent mirrors inlaid with gold, and a proportionate amount of imported crystal.

Primarily used as an executive and administrative office building, it has never been used as the residence of a Dominican president, who is expected to live in a private home. Of special note is the Room of the Caryatids, in which 44 sculpted draped women rise like columns in a hall lined with French mirrors and Baccarat chandeliers.

Not regularly open to the public, nevertheless you may be able to wrangle a one-hour tour: free and by appointment only with two weeks' advance notice Tuesday through Friday at 10am and 3pm. No flip-flops, shorts or T-shirts.

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