This fortified palace is the key icon of the centuries-long Spanish colonial period which shaped this country. Built in 1510 as both a palace and a fortress for the colony’s governors, it was criticized for having too many windows for its size, but it nonetheless became the residence of Christopher Columbus’ son Diego, and ended up being the epicentre of Spanish governance for six decades. From here, too, were launched the expeditions that conquered for Spain Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, and Florida. So they were pretty busy here once upon a time. Francis Drake also attacked in 1586. Today it’s an interesting museum that features period furnishings.