Museo de las Casas Reales museum of the royal houses, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, West Indies, Caribbean
Alvaro Leiva/© Alvaro Leiva
The Royal Houses were built in 1511 to serve as the administrative offices of the governors of the Indies, and they remained the seat of power through much of the 20th century. The dictator Rafael Trujillo had his office here, and his desk and antique weapons collection are among the items on display. Other exhibits range from colonial-era furniture and treasure found in sunken galleons to artifacts from the Taino people, all providing an introduction to the history of the country before independence.