Situated next to La Cruceta del Vigía, another well-known landmark that sits atop the rolling hills of the municipality of Ponce, the four-storied mansion known as the Castillo Serrallés is a site to behold. Originally the residence for the Serrallés family, owners of the world famous rum distillery that produces Don Q Puerto Rican Rum, the sprawling estate is now one of Ponce’s most visited sites.
The building, erected during the 1930’s, was designed by Puerto Rican architect Pedro Adolfo De Castro with Spanish and Arabic flourishes, using the Spanish Colonial Revival Style popularized in the United States at the time. The Castillo – or castle – is now a museum dedicated to the history of rum production as well as the sugarcane industry and its socio-economic impact on the island.
The museum also offers tours through the refurbished home. Inside, living conditions circa 1930 have been recreated using original furnishings, including the grandiose dining room, private quarters, and the majestic interior patio. Several temporary exhibits showcase the work of local artists while a permanent exhibit includes a documentary film on the Serrallés Family’s Hacienda Mercedita.
A small café and souvenir shop are also on the premises, allowing visitors to sample some of Puerto Rico’s premium spirits. Outside, guests can wander around the immaculately kempt gardens, relaxing by the fountain, all the while enthralled by the magnificent views of downtown Ponce and the Caribbean Sea.