The Splendor of Palacete Los Moreau
The town of Moca, in Puerto Rico, is best known for the production of magnificent bobbin lace that is often described as timeless. The beauty of the intricate patterns has mesmerized travelers and buyers for centuries, and as more tourists begin to explore this spellbinding region, breathtaking treasures, such as Palacete Los Moreau, lie in wait to be discovered.
Juan Labadiè, stayed in a wooden mansion on a one thousand three hundred acre coffee plantation owned by close friends, the Pengeot family. Because of the family traveling between France and Puerto Rico on a regular basis, Labadiè was asked to take care of the land during the absences of the Pengeots. In 1860, he bought the land from the family and lived on the estate until his death in the year 1893. His widow made the decision to tear down the wooden structure and replace it with a solid cement house. The large mansion was designed by Paul Servojean, a leading French engineer, and the twelve year construction period was undertaken by Manuel Gomez Tejera.
In 1905, the house was completed and the two storey building was adorned with stained glass, gables, balconies, porches, onion domes and towers. The area started to grow in the sugar cane industry, and the estate also started to focus its attention to the increasing trade. It was the combination of these qualities, the sugar cane industry and the breathtaking mansion, that captured the imagination of distinguished and legendary Puerto Rican writer, Enrique A. Laguerre. He immortalized the estate in his novel “La Llamarada”, writing about a fictional family, the Moreaus, and their lives that were intertwined with the sugar cane industry.
In 1993, the Moca Municipality took over ownership of the estate, which had by then fallen into disrepair. They restored the beautiful mansion, which is now used for functions, weddings and for tourists to visit. Fieldtrips of the estate are available, and visitors will also be able to see the old steam engine that was used as transportation for the sugar cane. Renamed to the Palacete Los Moreau, in honor of one of the most prolific writers of Puerto Rico and his novel, the estate is once again as spectacular, romantic and breathtaking as it was vividly described in the pages of “La Llamarada”.