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Morelia

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Morelia is the Capital city of the State of Michoacan and is located 303 kms (188 mi) from Mexico City.

Morelia was founded in 1541. It was named Valladolid by Don Antonio de Mendoza, the first Viceroy of Nueva España, but was renamed in 1828 Morelia in honor of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

Morelia Cathedral - Tour By Mexico ®

Among Morelia main attractions are:

  • The cathedral, Construction began on this massive edifice in 1669 and was finally completed in 1744. The Cathedral was built with rose-colored quarry stone and models baroque paneling and a Doric-style interior. The relief carvings inside are neoclassical in style. Among the many treasures inside the Cathedral are a silver baroque showcase and a silver neoclassical baptismal font, both 18th century. The monumental organ with its 4600 pipes is a recent addition from the beginning of the 20th century. Señor de la Sacristia (Lord of the Sacristy) is made from dried maize paste, a pre-Hispanic artistic sculpting technique. Valuable paintings are located in the sacristy and in the nave.
  • The Government Palace, Morelia Government Palace - Tour By Mexico ® This Baroque building was built between 1760 and 1770. Its original, function was as the Tridentate Seminary of Valladolid. In 1767 it became the seat of the State government. There are three murals here painted by Michoacan artist Alfredo Zalce, with portray different periods in the history of Mexico in general and Michoacan in particular.
  • Federal Palace, This building constructed in French-style eclectic, dates from the 18th century. First it was a Catherine convert, the later, in the 19th century; it housed the Theresian School of Santa Maria of Guadalupe. The federal government offices, including the post office, moved into the facility in 1935, where they remain today.
  • The Palace of Justice, This building has housed the Judicial Department of the State of Michoacan since 1885. It is a beautiful construction with a French-style facade. There are interesting pre-Hispanic decorative elements on its second floor. Morelia Palce of Justice - Tour By Mexico ®
  • The Museum of Michoacan Museum of Michoacan - Tour By Mexico ® Museum of Michoacan - Tour By Mexico ® Isidro Huarte bought this baroque style edifice in 1772 then rebuilt it to serve as his private residence and place of business. Later, the house became the property of Doña Francisca Roman, lady-in-waiting of the empress Carlota. It was there that the emperor Maximiliano de Habsburgo stayed when he visited Morelia in 1864. Today the mansion houses the Michoacan Regional Museum which was founded in 1886 by Dr. Nicolas Leon, and it is one of the oldest museums in Mexico. The masterpiece The removal of the Nuns (1738) represents, according to the late Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, the greatest historical, sociological, and ethnographic treasure of the Museum from the 18th century.
  • The Municipal palace, The construction of the Baroque-style building was begun late in the 18th century. Its impressive octagonal patio is a jewel of Morelian architecture. Originally it housed a repository for the control and sale of tobacco. It has been the Municipal Palace since 1859. Morelia Municipal Palace - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Municipal Palce - Tour By Mexico ®
  • Plaza of Weapons or of the Martyrs, This beautiful plaza was designed and built by the Spanish between 1541 and 1546 to outline the future city of Valladolid. Its attractive kiosk dates from 1887.
  • Las Rosas Church and Las Rosas Conservatory of Music, The Baroque temple and adjoining building date from the 18th century. The interior of the temple abounds with extremely ornate relief carvings and gilt panels. The Conservatory building originally housed the School of Santa Maria, a girls school open from 19738 until the 19th century. The Conservatory took over the facility in the late 1940s, and today it houses the internationally renowned Boys Choir of Morelia in addition to the School of Music. Morelia Las Rosas Church - Tour By Mexico ®
  • Old Public Granary, Built in 1774, this baroque building was the city's wheat depository. It was reconditioned in 1847 to accommodate the expansion of the penitentiary. Today it is part of the Palace of Justice, where the civil state judges meet.
  • Museum of Colonial Art, a small but important museum is to be found in this 18th century baroque-style house. The first printing press of the city was established here in 1821. Today the museum exhibits works from the vice regal period, as well as Christ figures made of dried maize paste from the early evangelical era.
  • Alfredo Zalce Contemporary art museum, This 19th century building of French influence is locates in the Bosque (Forest) Cuauhtemoc along Aqueduct Avenue. There are thirteen exhibition rooms and the Museum bears the name of one of the most prominent contemporary artist from Michoacan
  • Cuauthemoc Park/Forest, The Bosque Cuauhtemoc (Forest of San Pedro) is located along the south side of the Aqueduct. It is a major recreational area where one can stroll, run, visit the children's park, or sit by the duck pond. The Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Contemporary Art are both located in the park.
  • Morelos' Birthplace, Jose Maria y Pavon, one of the heroes of Mexican Independence, was born in the beautiful baroque-style house with its neoclassical interior and facade on September 30, 1765. It was remodeled and reconditioned for cultural purposes in 1964. Documents and items belonging to General Morelos are on display in the library and exhibition halls.
  • Morelos House, Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon acquired this home, built in 1958, in 1801. Today this lovely and dignified baroque mansion us a museum containing paintings, photographs, fumitory, period pieces, and copies of documents that help to illustrate the life of Morelos prior to this becoming a leader of the Independence movement. This archives of the Archbishopric of Michoacan are also located here.
  • San Nicolas de Hidalgo School, Morelia San Nicolas de Hidalgo School - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia San Nicolas de Hidalgo School - Tour By Mexico ® This building, which today houses a preparatory school of the University of Michoacan, has a neoclassic facade and an interior steeped in baroque influence. It was originally the Valladolid branch of the School of San Nicolas, founded by Bishop Vasco de Quiroga in the 16th century in Patzcuaro. Among the school's rectors was Don Miguel Hidalgo and one of its most outstanding students was Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. Closed during the War of Independence, the school was reopened in 1847 by Don Melchor Ocampo, whose heart is still preserved and on display in a niche of honor in the room that bears his name.
  • Morelia Las Tarascas Fountain - Tour By Mexico ® Public Library, This Baroque building, dating from the 17th century, was originally the Temple of the Company of Jesus. It had a variety of functions over the years until 1930, the Public Library of the University of Michoacan of San Nicolas de Hidalgo was installed there.
  • Home of Don Mariano Michelena This neoclassic building was erected in 1690 and originally belonged to the Canonic of Belaunzaran. Later, in 1826, it became the residence of Don Mariano Michelana, who hosted Hidalgo there in 1810. Don Mariano willed it to the State for public benefit. Today it serves as High School No. 5 of the University of Michoacan.
  • Ex-Obispado, The construction of this Baroque house. which served as the bishopric, began in the early years of the 17th century by order of Bishop Jose Escalona y Calatayud. Today it houses the Secretary of Health.
  • Former home of Gabriel Garcia Obeso, This building was the site of several conspiratorial meetings of the independence movements. Its facade is neoclassical and its interior baroque. It dates from the second half of the 18th century.
  • La Soterraña, This small, charming garden located in the southwest of the city's downtown is surrounded by typical architecture.
  • Temple of Mercy, The construction of this church was begun in 1604 by the Order of Mercy. It is baroque in style with ornate Plateresque decorative elements. The monastery later converted to a school. The church retains its religious function.
  • Temple of the Cross, Father Nicolas de la Serra ordered the construction of this beautifully simple chapel between 1680 y 1690. The facade was added in 1970
  • The Cultural House, where you can see among others, masks from throughout the country, over 100 figures of Christ and archaeological pieces. Morelia Cultural House - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Cultural House - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Cultural House - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Cultural House - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Cultural House - Tour By Mexico ®
  • State Museum, This 18th-century mansion was restored to house the Sate Museum in 1986. The Museum is divided into three sections: Archaeology, History, and Ethnology. There is example of an antique pharmacy dating from 1868.
  • Dr. Manuel Martinez Solorzano Museum of Natural History, Dr. Martinez was a Morelian naturalist and physician who, during his term as director of the Michoacan Museum, presided over the natural history exhibit. The University of Michoacan expanded this exhibit in 1986. Information about the flora and fauna of the state continues to be updated thanks to ongoing research. The Museum emphasizes the development of an ecological consciousness.
  • Sacred Heart Hospital, Built in 1756, this by order of Bishop Martin Elizacoechea, this baroque-style structure served as a correctional facility. Two of its best-known prisoners were Don Mariano Matamoros and Don Jose Guadalupe Salto, both heroes of Mexican Independence who were martyred in the Plaza de Armas, giving it its other name, plaza de los Martires.
  • Former Episcopate, This construction of this baroque house, which served as the bishopric, began in the early years of the 17th century by order of Bishop Jose Escalona y Calatayud. Today it houses the Secretary of Health.
  • Sweets and Handicrafts Market, This market is located to the west of what was once the Jesuit School. Visitors can find a great variety of regional sweets including candies made from fried fruit, "rompope" (similar to eggnog, coated fruit, "morelianas", and "charamuscas", as well as beautiful handicrafts from Micoacan's indigenous communities.
  • Clavijero Palace, Originally the seat of the Jesuit School of San Francisco Javier, which functioned until 1767, this building is a majestic example of mid-17th baroque architecture. Later it served as a correctional facility for priests. Then, in 1824, it became the home of the Congress of Michoacan. This important architectural monument currently houses various government offices. Morelia Clavijero Palace - Tour By Mexico ®
  • Plaza Villalongin, This plaza, one of the most beautiful in Morelia, honors Michoacan with its name the insurgent Don Manuel Villalongin, who, in an act of bravery, rescued his wife who was being held prisoner by the Spanish, in the "Las Animas" prison, facing the garden.
  • New Tridentine Seminary, The Second Archbishop of Michoacan, Don Jose Ignacio Arciga, built this neoclassical edifice in 1859. It replaced the seminary located in what is now the Government Palace. Today it functions as the Pascual Ortiz Rubio High School of the University of Michoacan.
  • The Franciscan ex-Temple, built in 1610
  • The Tarascans, This bronze statue and fountain is one of the most recognized and representative monuments in Morelia .It is in front of the Plaza Villalongin, east of the downtown area. The statue shows three indigenous women holding a large basket of regional fruits above them.
  • The aqueduct, Bishop Friar Antonio de San Miguel ordered the construction of this aqueduct in 1785. It brought potable water into the city. Local indigenous people built the 253-arch, Baroque structure.
  • Calzada Fray Antonio de San Miguel, Bishop Juan Jose y Calatayud built thes pedestrian street in 1732. Friar Antonio de San Miguel later restored it. 18th and 19th century summer mansions flank the Calzada. Today it is a lovely place for visitors and residents to stroll.
  • Casa del Conde de Sierra Gorda, Built at the end of the 18th century by order of Canon Jose Mariano Escandon y Llera, 3rd Count of Sierra Gorda, this building today houses offices of the Secretary of Education. It has a French facade and a neoclassical interior.
  • University Cultural Center, The University of Michoacan constructed this contemporary building between 1991 and 1993, Its main function is the promotion of the arts and culture.
  • Statue of Morelos, Italian sculptor Don Jose Inghillieri crafted this statue and had it cast in Rome. It is dedicated to General Jose Maria Morelos, and it alludes to liberty and country.

In Morelia you can visit also beautiful churches such as:

  • Church and Convent of San Francisco - Crafts Center, The Franciscans began construction on this Plateresque-style complex in 1531. This was the first convert established in Valladolid. The House of Handicrafts has been located here since 1972, with representations of the fine crafts of Michoacan on display and for sale.
  • Santa Rosa de Lima Morelia Santa Rosa de Lima - Tour By Mexico ® Morelia Santa Rosa de Lima - Tour By Mexico ®
  • Church and Ex-Conevnt of Carmen, Construction began on this monumental baroque structure in 1593 and continue through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Valuable works of art hung in the sacristy. The former convent was restored and reconditioned between 1974 and 1979 and now serves as the House of Culture of Michoacan, and an interesting Mask Museum is also located here.
  • Santa Catarina de Sena
  • Church of San Jose, Bishop Calatayud ordered construction of a dignified, baroque-style chapel here during the 1740's. Two decades later, Bishop Sanchez de Tagle began building the larger church. The towers and clock and clock were added in 1945.
  • Capuchin Church, This baroque-style edifice was begun in 1680 for the porpuse of housing the young daughters of indigenous lords as well as Capuchin nuns. It was completed in 1737. The principal altar later burner, leaving only three remaining baroque altarpieces.
  • Sanctuary of Guadalupe and former convert of San Diego, The Sanctuary of Guadalupe was built between 1708 and 1716. Its portal is baroque. Don Joaquin Orta decorated the interior of the church in 1815. The Jamesian Order monastery was built after the church. Today the Law school of the University of Michoacan uses the monastery facility. Morelia Sanctuary of Guadalupe - Tour By Mexico ®
  • Church of the Nuns, Built between 1729 y 1737, this baroque temple was dedicated to Santa Catalina de Siena. It picked up the name "The Nuns" because it belonged to an order of the Catherine's, who moved from Las Rosas to this site in 1798, an event depicted on a huge canvas in the Michoacan Regional Museum.
  • Augustine Church, This house of worship was built in 16th century. Its facade is late Plateresque style, and its cloister reflects Gothic influence and a refined sense of dignity. The Dominican Friar Gregorio de Cabello built the tower in the early years of the 17th century. The Church venerates the Virgin of Succor, a gift from Santo Tomas of Villanueva.

Morelia also has two airports: the Jose Maria Morelos and the General Francisco J. Mujica.

The Morelia agricultural fair, is celebrated May 10th through May 21st.

Fourteen kilometers (7 mi) from Morelia on the highway towards Tenencia, is the Cointzio Spa with its beautiful gardens and magnificent installations.


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• Michoacan State •
Agua Blanca  | Angangueo  | Ciudad Hidalgo  | Cuitzeo  | Charo  | Isla de Janitzio |
Ixtlan de los Hervores  | Jiquilpan  | La Piedad  | Los Azufres  | Morelia Capital City  | Paracho  | Patzcuaro |
Playa Azul  | San Jose Purua  | Santa Clara del Cobre  | Tlalpujahua  | Tuxpan  | Tzintzuntzan  | Uruapan |
Volcan ParicutinZamora  | Zinapecuaro  | Zirahuen  | Zitacuaro |

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