In the Dominican Republic there are destinations that are recognized more than others. Perhaps because of their cultural, historical, artistic or gastronomic relevance. One of these is Moca, head municipality of the Espaillat province.
Throughout time, Moca has been the protagonist of several historical events that have made it known as the cradle of great heroes; important events such as the “Gesta del 2 de Mayo” in 1861 against the annexation to Spain, the execution of Ulises Heureaux on July 26, 1899 and the execution of Lilís, to mention some of the most important events, have taken place here.
On this occasion, thanks to a tour we made with Grupo Sarma and the Ecotourism Cluster of the Espaillat province, we are going to share seven obligatory stops that make up the historical, cultural and gastronomic route of the city considered the “capital of mofongo” in the Dominican Republic.
1. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Moca is a town that believes in God and has one of the most beautiful churches in the Dominican Republic. This parish was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990 and then Monumental Heritage of the Dominican Republic by the Executive Power in 2006.
Designed by architect Humberto Ruiz Castillo, this temple has a height of 110 meters from the base to the cross that crowns its tower. Its structure is composed of a central nave and 2 lateral ones. Its bell tower is 60 meters high and the clock and its red dome can be seen from every corner of the city of Moca.
The interior of the church is magical. There you can observe a series of beautiful polychrome stained glass windows with biblical and Salesian representations, an organ of 4000 pipes, 2 keyboards and some 16 Murano glass lamps that illuminate the entire area, as described by Dominicana Life Style.
Among its images are: the Heart of Jesus, recreated in white marble; Our Lady of Guadalupe; Christ the Redeemer; it also has an altar dedicated to Mary Help of Christians and another altar for St. John Bosco. The Virgin of Altagracia and St. Joseph custodian of the sides of the temple. Undoubtedly, a temple that you must visit.
2. Ramón Cáceres Museum
This historical space is located in the communicated of Estancia Nueva, place where the widow of President Ramón Cáceres settled. If you are interested in learning a bit about the history of the Dominican Republic and the lifestyle of this former president, a native of La Estancia, Moca, noted for his opposition to the rule of dictator Ulises Heureaux, visiting the museum is an excellent way to connect with his work.
This cultural space (@museoramoncaceres) built on the initiative and will of the family, collects the episodes of life and exercise of power of who was the 39th president of the Dominican Republic. With a tour that lasts approximately 15 minutes, the new generations can learn about his works and achievements in the economic, political and development areas in favor of the country.
3. Las 4F Restaurant
On our tour we made a stop at @las4fmoca, located on the Coronel Lora Fernández highway in Moca. This pause is one of the most important activities in the visit to Moca, because there is no tour of this municipality that does not include enjoying a good mofongo.
Las 4F restaurant has more than 10 variations of mofongo on its menu, including some made with yucca -rare but tasty- and all of them can be accompanied with chicharrón, longaniza, cheese, carnita, seafood or crab dough.
Other dishes that can be enjoyed in Moca are the sancocho of various meats, typical sweets, white cheese, Rodaos.
4. 3D Street
One of the most recent attractions of the municipality is 26 de Julio Street, which was painted in three-dimensional form, becoming the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic.
This space that starts right in front of the Plazoleta 26 de Julio and Museo 26 de Julio, has several landscapes illustrated in 3D format where tourists and locals can take fun pictures.
“The 3D street is part of a complete project that seeks to convert that entire road with sections highlighting art, education, technology, communications, fine arts and the history of the province,” said Juan Santiago Cabrera at the time of the inauguration.
This work in the dream occupies about 60 meters and was made by the teacher and brush artist Julio Tejada, who captured images that refer to the geographical demarcation of the city.
5. 26th of July Museum
Another of the experiences that you must live in the historical tour of the city of Moca, is the visit to the July 16 Museum (@museo26dejuliard), where young students with enthusiasm and drama will give you a tour of relevant events about Ulises Heureaux, who was assassinated on July 26, 1899.
This historic space was inaugurated on July 26, 2015, as part of the 116th anniversary commemoration. It is located in the small square that pays tribute to Ramón Cáceres, Horacio Vásquez, Manuel Cáceres, Jacobo de Lara, Pablo Arnaud and many others such as Eduardo Contín, heroes of the execution of the tyrant.
The house where the museum is located was donated by the De Lara family, from where Jacobito De Lara fired the first shot against Lilís. Here there are several paintings that depict the events of the assassination of President Ulises Heureaux by several young Mocanos.
The museum, located on Colon Street, in front of 26 de Julio Street, is a replica of the original building, using skylights that were found in the exterior and interior doors of the old house, as part of the museography and exhibition with portraits, paintings and objects of the time.
Espaillat is a province of artists, with handicrafts being its most deeply rooted manifestation, especially the faceless clay doll and the metal butterfly, as elements typical of this region.
One of the most famous artistic spaces in Moca is @casaneoarte, a unique space that combines lodging, restaurant and craft store. Here you can live a pleasant experience in all senses because from its visual aspect, its smells and its articles reflect the hospitality and art of its owners.
Every corner is designed so that each person who visits, enjoy the diversity and creativity of Dominican culture.