Having only heard about this place in TripAdvisor we were quite skeptical about this destination… Until we got there.
El Mundo King in Sosua on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is incredibly difficult to accurately describe, but in a nutshell it is a museum of Haitian / Caribbean art. But it’s so much weirder than that.
Upon arriving at what is a residence turned castle-museum you are automatically impressed by an out of this world facade of towers and alien writings. From there, things begin to get really interesting…
Heading inside we saw a sign letting us know that the entrance fee was rd$300… although with no-one around to pay, we simply ventured in and started looking around. A few minutes in a ‘guide’ joined us and started giving us the tour of the several stories of awesomely random, Haitian, alien, religious and, our personal favorite, “traditional zombie art”. We could neither make this up, nor believe what was in front of us. The guide, who seemed to be an artist at the ‘art school’ that is also in the building, did his best not to comment on more than the facts, not wanting to provide any insights into the thought process, inspiration or motivation of the owner, who is a German gentleman (Rolf) who moved to the Dominican Republic and started building El Mundo King over 20 years ago.
The art, while open to ones particular likes, was beyond impressive. The massive size of most of the artwork was as astounding as the sheer size of the collection itself, which we estimate has well over 800 unique pieces – including four or five spaceships. Or more accurately spaceship replicas as Rolf later explained to us.
The statutes vary from granite to wood, and the paintings from almost traditional, to apocalyptic to straight-out random alien graffiti craziness. To properly take it all in you will need a few hours, and possibly a stiff drink ahead of time. If out of this world is the theme, they succeeded! From the rooftop, with a spectacular view reaching to Puerto Plata, to the crypt which authentically has no lighting (iPhone flashlight to the rescue), the place is both immense and intense.
Meet Rolf, proprietor of El Mundo King
As we were about to leave we were informed that the owner had arrived in case we would like to meet him (as well as pay him the entrance fee). And boy did we! Rolf, the owner, greeted us like long time acquaintances and quickly started telling us all about the artwork, making a point to let us know which spaceships were fictitious inspiration and which were real. We learned about the conspiracy of aliens who have been causing a drought in the country. The injections that he had been submitted to by the aliens. We also learned about the sun angels that dance around the Sosua area…. Mind. Blown.
So is this a place you want to visit? Yes. Yes it is. A few tips: Go with a group (and stay together). Take plenty of film. And keep an open mind.
El Mundo King
Where: Calle Libre ( top of hill, 1 km from main road), Sosúa, República Dominicana
[When in Sosua it’s remarkably easy to find – we just plugged it into google maps]
Cost: RD$300 per person
Contact: (809) 972-2057
Opening times: There are no formal opening hours. We got the impression that it is basically always open – although we recommend going during daylight hours – this place at night might give you nightmares!