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You may or may not be granted entrance to the seat of government of the Dominican Republic. Instead of calling on your own, it might be better to have your hotel do it for you. If you do get an invitation extended, show up in the finest garb you brought along. The mammoth palace near the Zona Colonial was built of roseate marble extracted from the Peninsula of Samaná. The architect was an Italian, Guido D'Alessandro, who inaugurated the palace in 1947 in the neoclassical style. It is magnificently furnished with gilt mirrors, crystal chandeliers, and art from some of the nation's most prominent painters. The most dramatic salon is the Room of the Caryatids, with 44 sculpted and clothed women rising like columns in a miniature Hall of Versailles with Baccarat chandeliers and French mirrors. Filled with government offices, the building stretches for nearly a block.