Altos de Chavon
Altos de Chavon is a small town close to La Romana. It is an architectural marvel, a replica of a sixteenth-century Mediterranean village on top of a cliff, with fantastic views of the River Chavon. The villa was created by the great Italian designer and cinematographer Roberto Coppa, at the request of Charles Bludhorn, chairman of the Gulf & Western Corporation and former owner of Paramount Pictures between 1966 and 1970. He had the idea to build this Mediterranean village as a birthday gift for his daughter. Dominican artists created the handmade stone paths, the iron decorations, the furniture, and the charming buildings.
The construction of the village began in 1976, and it was inaugurated in 1982 with a concert at the amphitheater, which included performances by Frank Sinatra and Carlos Santana. Altos de Chavon was built as the center for Dominican culture and is known as the "Artists’ Village". It boasts a Design School affiliated to Parsons School of Design in New York.It is lovely to stroll along the cobblestoned streets of this small town and enjoy the grandeur of the architecture of the past, while admiring the immense detail and quality of the craftsmanship. From the hills overlooking the Chavon River, you will find several dining options, bars, quaint shops, boutiques, art galleries, and other tourist spots.
Church of St. Stanislaus - this church is located in the heart of the village of Altos de Chavon. Consecrated in 1979, it is named in honor of Pope John Paul II, for St. Stanislaus, the Patron Saint of Poland, where the Pope was born. He sent the ashes of the Patron Saint, and a statue carved by hand from Kraków, to commemorate the opening of the church. The church performs weekly Catholic masses, and is a dream location for weddings.
The Amphitheater is a spectacular stone Roman style amphiteater, with seating for 4.000 people, used to celebrate different events and concerts. Frank Sinatra and Carlos Santana performed at the inaugural concert in 1982, and it has been host to other renowned artists such as Sting, Julio Iglesias, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and Juan Luis Guerra, among others.
The Archeological Museum. Located behind the Church of San Estanislao, we find this museum, enriched with pre-Columbian objects documenting the history of the island. It includes pieces that have been shown in exhibitions at the Museo del Barrio in New York, in the Petite Palais in Paris, and also in Seville, Spain, as part of the fifth centenary of the discovery of America.
Stores. In its shops and boutiques you will find fine jewelry, fashion, cigars, and handmade, embroidered tablecloths. Future designers of the School of Design Altos de Chavon also have a store here where you can buy ceramics, arts and woven crafts. Purchasing a product from this store helps maintain the school and who knows, you may be buying an item that could become valuable someday.
Did you know that... The Chavon River was the setting in the filming of the famous films Apocalypse Now and Rambo.