Museum of the Royal Houses, Santo Domingo

Discover the colonial history of the island and admire this monumental Royal Houses Museum in its whole.

Museum of the Royal Houses, Santo Domingo
Museum of the Royal Houses
© Jean-Marc Astesana

This imposing 16th century building is located in the heart of the Ciudad Colonial (Colonial City) and it is the perfect example of the blending of cultures resulting in the Dominican identity.

From its construction in 1511, it was used as Real Audiencia (Royal Audience), that is, Court of Justice with jurisdiction over the New World under the command of the king Ferdinand II of Aragon; it was used as well as Palace of the Governors and General Captaincy until the east side of the island was given to France and the Royal Audience was moved to Cuba in 1799.

Regarding its architecture, the building is made up of first quality stones and masonry material which results in an Elizabethan Gothic style, with a Renaissance Plateresque and military touch.

One of the most curious and characteristic elements in the monument is located on the facade that faces the Las Mercedes Street, where it is exhibited the only coat of arms of Joanna the Madd in the whole world.

On its interior you’ll enjoy discovering maps, ancient tapestries and many other objects belonging to Colonial times, being an essential part of the rich history of Dominican Republic.

The whole construction, declared Royal Houses Museum in 1976, has two connected buildings. One of them used to work as Palace of the Governors and the other as Real Audiencia (Royal Audience) and Accounts. It is known as the most complete museum in the American continent, as it houses the history of the island from 1492 until 1821.

It is divided into two floors housing a total of 20 exhibition rooms. The first one has different galleries hosting collections about the “Discovery, Conquest and Evangelization”; “Piracy and Smuggling”, “Economy”, “Santa Bárbara”, “Pharmacy”; among others. Likewise, you’ll be able to find a hall and cafeteria, temporary exhibitions; etc.

In the second floor you’ll access the “Gallery of Audiencias”, “Weapons room”, exhibitions about Accounts and Legislation, the “ Oidor main office”, “General Captain Office”, “Family life”, “Governors Great Room”, etc.

If you wish, you can get a guide from the museum to accompany you during the visit who will explain the most relevant and interesting details during the tour.

Don’t miss the chance to visit one of the most important monuments of the Dominican heritage and discover more about the culture of its inhabitants.

More information:

Location:

At the corner between Las Damas and Mercedes strees, Spain Square. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Ticket Price:

Adults 50 RD$ / Children 5 RD$.

Opening Times:

from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Telephone:

(+809) 682 4202.

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Santo Domingo

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