Tag Archives: historical site

Casa del Tostado

Casa del Tostado / House of Tostado

The Casa del Tostado is one of the earliest homes constructed in the New World city of Santo Domingo. It has unique features and also there are some interesting legends about this 15th century home.

The Casa del Tostado with the flags of Dominican Republic
The Casa del Tostado with the flags of Dominican Republic

About the Casa del Tostado | Casa del Tostado Legends | El Museo de la Familia Dominicano / The Museum of the Dominican Family | Location

The Casa Francisco de Tostado

The Casa Francisco de Tostado home was built in the 15th century. This is one of the earliest constructions on the island. This historical Tostado came to the island with Nicholas de Ovando in 1502 making him one of the earliest settlers on the island. He was a writer and father of famous writer Francisco Tostado de la Peña. Francisco was the first person born on the island to become a university professor. He was killed by cannon fire of Pirate Francis Drake in 1586.

The famous, one of a kind window of Casa del Tostado.
The famous, one of a kind window of Casa del Tostado.

The Tostado house is famous for its double window Elizabethan Gothic facade with Moorish influences, one of the most unique windows in all the world.

The interior patio of Casa del Tostado
The interior patio of Casa del Tostado

This historical home ran all the way down to the sea covering an entire city block. The construction of the house is said to be one of a kind.

Inside the rooms are large and spacious and quite lavish. Inside the house there were large gardens and parks. There are exquisite archways located throughout the house. On the top floor tower there is a great view of the sea. The patio is lovely and it is said at one time there was even an orchard inside the walls.

Casa de Tostado has been home to many famous inhabitants of the island. First the Tostado family, including Francisco Rodríguez Franco. At one time it was Archbishop’s Palace. It is now the home of El Museo de la Familia Dominicano / The Museum of the Dominican Family.

Casa del Tostado as seen from Plaza Bartolome de las Casas in the early morning.
Casa del Tostado as seen from Plaza Bartolome de las Casas in the early morning.

Casa del Tostado Legends

One romantic and tragic legend is from the nineteenth century. The father of a beautiful girl was blamed for the tragic death of his daughter.

His daughter had a boyfriend who was a part of the invading army marching in the street below her window. When she saw him marching by she ran to the street to greet her man. Her father went into a rage. He was so angry that he killed his daughters’ boyfriend with his sword.

The distraught girl ran to her lover who was lying on the ground. She held him as he breathed his last breath. Desperate and in pain she ran to the well in the yard and dived in. Falling to the bottom and ending her life.

Another version of the story told to me was that the wealthy owner of the home had many African saves. The daughter fell in love with one of these handsome slaves.

The lovers were secretly meeting on the patio while the father was out. When the father returned to the home unexpectedly the slave went down into the well to hide. He was holding onto the edge of the well waiting for the father to leave. After some time the daughter got her father to leave the patio area.

Finally, when her father left the house, the daughter returned to the patio to see the man she secretly loved and let him know that her father was gone again. She called for him but could not find him anywhere. As a last resort she looked into the well.

It seems that her lover could no longer hold onto the side of the well while waiting for the father to leave the patio. He lost his grip and fell into the well drowning in the water below.

The daughter was so distraught. She went to the top of the tower and threw herself off. She died on the street below.

El Museo de la Familia Dominicano / The Museum of the Dominican Family

Museo de la Familia Dominicano era dress on the Night of Museums.
Museo de la Familia Dominicano era dress on the Night of Museums.

The Dominican Republic took over the Tostado House in 1970. The government restored the building and it was opened to the public on August 15, 1973. It was made into a historical monument and now is the home of El Museo de la Familia Dominicano / The Museum of the Dominican Family.

This museum holds many historical documents of the Dominican national heritage showcasing the culture and customs of the Dominican people.

There is an impressive collection of 19th-and 20th-century Victorian wicker and mahogany furniture. Included in the collection are many impressive paintings, drawings, photographs, books and objects of personal use. Some of the works of art in the collection include some of the more important artists of the time.

Museo de la Familia Dominicano men era dress on the Night of Museums.
Museo de la Familia Dominicano men era dress on the Night of Museums.

Inside the home one of the original courtyards still exist. It is a beautiful green tranquil spot where you can sit and reflect. In the center of the patio sits an old well. Make sure to go up the stairs to the tower. You will have a spectacular view of the Colonial Zone.

Could these be the same well and tower that the legends spoke of?

Casa del Tostado corner of Padre Billini and Merino in the Colonial Zone.
Casa del Tostado corner of Padre Billini and Merino in the Colonial Zone.

Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays
Cost: $100 pesos for general public (2008).
Contact: 809-689-5000

Casa del Tostado corner of Calle Padre Billini and Arzobispo Meriño
Casa del Tostado corner of Calle Padre Billini and Arzobispo Meriño

Location

The corner of Calle Padre Billini and Arzobispo Meriño just beyond the Cathedral of Santo Domingo.

Colonial Zone

The Colonial Zone

The Colonial Zone (in Spanish it is called Zona Colonial or Ciudad Colonial, also known in years past as Nueva Isabella, Ciudad Trujillo and Santo Domingo) is the oldest constantly inhabited city in all of “The Americas”. It is a small town nestled in the capital city of Santo Domingo on the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic.

Aerial view of the back of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo
Aerial view of the back of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo

The Colonial Zone is

the “City Of Firsts”.

We hold claim to the first cathedral, monastery, sewage system, university, customs house and hospital in the “New World”. Follow the 11 blocks of historical and fun-filled streets within this walled city holding the oldest permanent settlement in the New World. There are over three hundred pieces if history including the monuments, homes, streets and churches. In 1990 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) placed us on the World Heritage List. Come and meet the people and visit our museums, forts and historical buildings dating back to the time of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492.

Duarte Park and the Church of the Dominicos
Duarte Park and the Church of the Dominicos

The “Zone” successfully blends the old and the new in a way like no other place can. We have a wide variety of restaurants offering many culinary styles that are sure to please your palate. There are bars and clubs with many different music styles for young and old alike. If you just want to sit and do some people watching there are many parks and plazas where you can relax and enjoy the soft Caribbean breezes.

Come and see for yourself what makes our town so special.