The Palacete Vicini (Casa de los Vitrales) is a magnificent private home built in the art déco style by Czech designer architect Antonio Nechodojma in the 1920s. The beautiful little palace is nestled unassumingly on Calle 19 de Marzo in the Colonial Zone.
The entrance has 3 stairs leading to a small porch with two magnificent Ionic columns on either side. These columns are 12 meters tall and are three and a half meters wide at the base making them unique in shape and size. If you can get a glimpse into the front door and the entrance, there is a remarkable semicircular stairway leading to the second floor.
The ironwork adorning the windows and doors of the entrance are uncommon. Especially the magnificent metal lattice work on and above the entrance door.
The second level has a beautiful curved semicircular balcony, which has metal balusters adorned with spirals and 5 arched doors. The balcony is usually covered in beautiful flowers.
There are 4 narrow windows on the front of the home. The 2 bottom windows are unremarkable. The top windows on either side of the balcony are trimmed with Islamic style arches and have beautiful stained glass. This design is said to be the only one of its kind in the city of Santo Domingo.
Owners (2019) – Juan B. Vicini and Consuelo Marchenauso
Notes of interest –
*The Vicini family has Italian origins and as a whole, are the wealthiest family in the Dominican Republic according to Forbes Magazine.
*A Palacete is a luxurious mansion, villa or stately home that resembles a palace but is smaller.
*The Palacete Vicini is also known as Casa de los Vitrales (2012). It has been renovated to hold receptions, weddings and events.
Location of Palacete Vicini
#113 – 19 de Marzo between Arz. Nouel and Padre Billini, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo.
The Palacio Consistorial, located in the Colonial City / Ciudad Colonial of Santo Domingo, was the original location of the old town hall. It is the oldest Town Hall in The Americas. Not only has this historical building witnessed unrivaled events in the history of The Dominican Republic, but it is also the place where many of the most important decisions of the country have been made.
The Palacio Consistorial was built between 1502 and 1504. It has been remodeled many times during its lifetime in which much of the original facade has been hidden and covered over.
The Palace was remodeled between 1911 and 1913 by the architect Osvaldo Báez Machado (Machado also remodeled the Iglesia de la Altagracia and The Hospital Padre Billini). He changed the edificio to have a neoclassical style that was very popular at that time.
The porch on the ground level runs along the entire building and the second floor boasts a large curved corner balcony and small balconies with iron railing.
Museo de la Villa de Santo Domingo
The interior of the Consistorial, also known as the Museo de la Villa de Santo Domingo, has a large central patio. It is exquisite with the beautiful fountain and surrounding terraces. An elegant staircase rises to the second floor. Along with the busts of the Padres de la Patria (Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and Ramon Matias Mella), there is a beautiful antique grand piano and crystal chandeliers.
This video shows the interior of the Palacio Consistorial. It is beautiful.
In 1939 the exiled Spanish Architect Tomas Auñón made the interior woodwork and trim. In 1944, José Vela Zanneti (May 27, 1913 – January 4, 1999), the great Spanish muralist, made the mural that tells the history of the city. Starting with the loves of Miguel y Catalina up to the Era of Trujillo. The art emphasizes the San Zenón Hurricane that in 1930 marked the beginning of the 31 years of Trujillo’s dictatorship.
The most notable aspect of this historic building, the 95 foot high (29 meter) clock tower / torre del reloj. The tower was added during the time of Trujillo. The top of the tower has a crowned dome known as El Vivaque. The tower has a clock on its front that in old times was an important time peace in the city. Now, it is just for show.
For years the building was part of the Banco de Trabajadores. For a time it was a jail and a police station. Now the building houses Ayuntamiento del Distrito Nacional. It is also a beautiful and elegant space for art exhibitions and cultural activities.
This tower of the Consistorial Palace is an iconic part of the Colonial Zone. If you lose your way in the Colonial Area just look to the sky for this tower with the clock (usually the clock is not working). This unique tower can be seen from most of the surrounding Colonial Zone area. If you become lost or can’t remember how to get back to the Conde just locate the tower and head towards it.
– The building and its tower look like it is leaning towards the street. This, I am told, is an optical illusion.
The Consistorial Palace and the Museo de la Villa de Santo Domingo is on the corner of Calle El Conde and Arzobispo Meriño, at Parque Colon. Just look up and you will see the distinctive tower.