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Altos de Chavón

La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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Altos de Chavón   Dominican Republic
Altos de Chavón    Dominican Republic
Altos de Chavón   Dominican Republic
Altos de Chavón   Dominican Republic
Altos de Chavón    Dominican Republic
Altos de Chavón   Dominican Republic

Altos de Chavón

On the Dominican Republic’s southeastern coast, high above the Chavón River gorge in La Romana, sits Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th-century Tuscan village handcrafted by local artisans. Completed in 1976, the site now boasts artist studios, galleries, and the Altos de Chavón School of Design, an affiliate of New York’s Parsons School of Art and Design. Other highlights include the Museo Arqueológico Regional (home to a fascinating collection of pre-Colombian artifacts), a 5,000-seat limestone amphitheater (which regularly hosts world-renowned performers), and the small St. Stanislaus Church (blessed by Pope John Paul II).

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AFAR Local Expert
over 2 years ago

Altos de Chavón

There’s something for everyone at this replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. In addition to shops and restaurants, there’s an archaeological museum filled with local artifacts from the pre-Columbian era. There are galleries featuring works by local artists, as well as by students at the on-site design school, an affiliate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design. An enormous amphitheater hosts international acts; you may even catch a performance by Julio Iglesias—the Spanish crooner has a home in Cap Cana.

AFAR Ambassador
over 3 years ago

Altos de Chavón

Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village, is perched high above the scenic Chavón river. Build just a smidge later than the 16th century, in the late 1970s, it was the brainchild of Charles Bluhdorn, who was Chairman of Paramount, and Roberto Copa, who was a set designer at Paramount Pictures. Cobble stoned pathways, fairy-tale buidlings, and a massive amphitheater (accommodating an audience of 5000 people were built by Dominican artisans, reviving almost forgotten crafts of metal work and stone carving. The village was finally inaugurated in 1982 with a concert of no-one other than Frank Sinatra. You find galleries, stores and restaurants at Altos de Chavón and although clearly a tourist destination, it feels intimate and curiously authentic. Don't miss the Regional Museum of Archaeology (El Museo Arqueológico Regional), an astonishing collection of pre-Columbian Indian artifacts unearthed in the surrounding area.
AFAR Ambassador
over 3 years ago

The Altos de Chavón School of Design

I heard about this school years ago, when I studied design in the UK. An Israeli classmate had studied art at Altos de Chavón and wouldn't stop talking about the experience. I'd forgotten about 'the art school in the jungle', until I stumbled on campus a while back. This place is unreal, and I can imagine how magical it must be to take some time out and be creative in such stunning, secluded surroundings. I probably wouldn't shut up about that either! The Altos de Chavón School of Design is associated with Parsons School of Design and offers a number of different programs in graphic design, fashion design, interior design, architecture, photography, and visual arts. An impressive collection of visiting luminaries has taught here over the years, among them fashion designers Oscar de la Renta, Nicole Miller, and Donna Karan. Even if you're not ready to enroll, a visit is inspiring. The grounds alone are stunning, and of course there's art at every turn. Take your time, meet the students, and see what they're working on.
AFAR Ambassador
over 3 years ago

Time to play dirty!

Altos de Chavon is made of many magical places, but my favorite was the pottery studio. I got a special tour and introduction to the workspace by wonderful long-time resident teacher, Damaris. Quick history: 1984, shortly after the village of Altos de Chavon was built, a ceramics school opened, catering to youth all over the region. Creating pottery has been an integral part of the Dominican culture since the days of Columbus, and as a craft continues to thrive here.
Dominican Republic
19 days ago

Altos de Chavón

Visiting Altos de Chavón, on a bluff 300 feet above the Chavón River in the southeast of the country, is like walking into a dreamscape. A 16th-century European village complete with the St. Stanislaus Church, artists’ workshops, and even an amphitheater that seats 5,000 has been built in the middle of the Caribbean. The project began when a set designer from Paramount Pictures heard that an abundance of stone was left over from the construction of a highway in the area. The stone became the building blocks of this European village with construction beginning in 1976. It was inaugurated in 1982 with a concert by Frank Sinatra and has since played host to modern artists ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Placido Domingo. In addition to admiring the buildings, a visit here offers opportunities to dine at Altos de Chavón’s restaurants and shop at its boutiques.