Altos de Chavón – 16th Century Mediterranean Village Re-creation

Altos de Chavón – 16th Century Mediterranean Village Re-creation
We visited Altos de Chavón, a re-creation of a sixteenth century style Mediterranen village in the town of La Romana, on our Southeast road trip through the Dominican Republic. This place was awesome. Every brick, rock or timber was shaped by hand, right down to the hand crafted hinges on the doors. Altos de Chavón is located atop the Chavón River in La Romana, Dominican Republic, near Punta Cana. It is the most popular attraction in the La Romana and hosts a cultural center, an archeological museum, and an amphitheater. The project was conceived by the Italian architect Roberto Copa, and the industrialist Charles Bluhdorn.

We were amazed at the detail and care that was taken to build this re-created village. The project began in 1976 when the construction of a nearby road and bridge crossing the Chavón River had to be blasted through a mountain of stone. Charles Bludhorn, chairman of Paramount then parent Gulf+Western, had the idea of using the stones to re-create a sixteenth-century style Mediterranean village, similar to some of the architecture found in the historic center of Santo Domingo. Construction was completed in the early 1980s.

Altos de Chavón – 16th Century Mediterranean Village Re-creation

Altos de Chavón – 16th Century Mediterranean Village Re-creation

You will find narrow, cobble-covered alleyways lined with lanterns and shuttered limestone walls with several good Mediterranean-style restaurants, a number of quaint shops featuring the diverse craftwork of local artisans, and three galleries exhibiting the works of students from the on-site design school, an affiliate of the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Adding authenticity to the project is the charming St. Stanislaus Church (Iglesia San Estanislao de Cracovia in Spanish) with its plaza and sparkling fountain that is a popular wedding venue. The Church of St Stanislaus was named after the patron saint of Poland in tribute to Pope John Paul II, who visited Santo Domingo in 1979 and left some of the saint’s ashes behind.

You will also find ….

 

5,000-seat, Roman-style amphitheater that hosts 20th century musical acts—The Pet Shop Boys, Frank Sinatra, and Julio Iglesias to name a few. The Génesis nightclub provides a popular dance venue for guests from the Casa de Campo resort nearby.

And finally, Altos de Chavón is also home of the Regional Museum of Archaeology (El Museo Arqueológico Regional), an astonishing collection of pre-Columbian Indian artifacts unearthed in the surrounding area. Altos de Chavón overlooks Rio Chavón and the Dye Fore golf course of Casa de Campo; both built by former Gulf+Western chairman Charles Bluhdorn.

In this little video we include a few of the sites and sounds of our visit to Altos de Chavón.

 

Hope you have enjoyed our little road trip through the southeast region of the Dominican Republic.  Even though we feel like we already live a full time vacation in Cabrera, it is always nice to take a week off and explore another part of this huge island.  There is never a reason to get bored if you live here or spend an extended time down here.

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