I am reading some old letters from the 1600s describing the settlement of a village in the Spanish colonies in North America. The letters say they need money to pay for building a fortress and "casas reales". I believe "casas reales" translates as "Royal House", but what specifically is that? Is that the place where governor lived? Is it housing for multiple officials or one? Could it have housed soldiers?

  • Might it be referring to this building? In that case, it is one specific building that was given that name. The Wikipedia article has a lot of information about it: it was the palace of the Viceroy of Santo Domingo, and housed administrative offices of the Spanish colonies.
    – wimi
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 7:27
  • The one in the letter was planned to be built in Santa Fe, NM. It wasn't written in capital letters, so I wonder if "casa reales" has a general meaning, so any capital city might have one of these?
    – Village
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 13:19
  • 1
    Can you provide an excerpt of the letter and the use of "casas reales" in it?
    – prm296
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


I found further sources using this term, and it refers to the Palace of the Governors, so it served as both the house for the governor of the territory, but also was the capital building.


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