Villa Dona Emilia (1895)
Antillean Architecture

 

The Family

The ruins of Villa Dona Emilia mansion is a national monument. This majestic architectual jewel belonged to Mrs. Emilia Jiménez Vda. Rodríguez, and her brother Juan Isidro Jiménez. Emilia and her brother, Juan were the children of Manuel Jiménez. Their father was the second president of the Dominican Republic in 1849. Juan would become the president of the Dominican Republic in 1899 and again in 1911.

Emilia was married to a wealth Montecristino businessman, Rafael Rodríguez Camargo. The Camargo and Jimenez families at the time were the wealthiest families in the Dominican Republic. Camargo installed a railway system in the city. It was the first railway system in the entire country.

 

The Architecture

The Villa Dona Emilia mansion was prefabricated in France. Then it as well as the carpenters to assemble it were imported from Paris to Monte Cristi in 1895. The Victorian residence was built in a second French empire style. The two level home was once the largest home in the city. It has large rooms, perimeter gallery, an indoor kitchen. Along with the indoor kitchen, the interior had decorative wood floors, iron fans and wood over the ornamental semicircular arched doors and a basement.

The most prominent feature of the exterior is the English style mansard roof. The mansard is armor plated with fish shaped decorative zinc plates. The roof once had crisscrossed ornaments decorative elements on the edge where it meets the gallery and an iron decorated trellis.

 

Recent History

During the Trujillo dictatorship the villa was forcibly sold to José Arismendy Trujillo Molina (Petán). Petán was the brother of  Dominican Dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. The home was used as his office while he was employed by the Granada Company.

After the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship, Villa Dona Emilia became the Monte Cristi Palace of Justice until 1990.

 

Today

Today the villa is used for neighborhood meetings and is the headquarters for the Tourism Cluster.

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