Morelia was founded in 1541 as the City of Michoacan. In 1545 the
name was changed to Valladolid and in 1580 it was made the capital
of Michoacan state. The name was changed again in 1828 to honor the
war hero born here (Jose Maria Morelos).
Today, Morelia has a population of over 600,000 people and has been
designated a world heritage site since 1991. The historic downtown
area known as the Centro Historico encompass 150 blocks and has
hundreds of historically significant buildings which are prime examples
of Spanish colonial architecture.
Some of the buildings on this list include :
- The Cathedral : Built with pink volcanic stone
between 1640 & 1744 . . . the cathedral is said to be the most
beautiful in all of Mexico. Its massive size and baroque architecture
strike a balance between the imposing structure and the proportion
of its towers. The beautiful facade, the 4600 pipe organ, carved
wooden choir stalls and silver baptismal font (where Mexico's first
emperor was baptized) . . . words just can't describe the whole
- The Palacio de Gobierno was begun in 1734 and finished in
1770 (Av. Madero 63).
- The College of San Nicolas de Hidalgo can be found on Madero
& Nigromante. Founded in 1540 and moved to Morelia in 1580 the
college became the University of Michoacan in 1917.
- The Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus is located across from the
university (now a library) and the attached convent (now government
offices), the Palacio Clavijero is one of the most photographed
sites in Morelia.
- Just down the street from here is a former Dominican convent,
now the Conservatorio de las Rosas music school (since 1785). Home
of the Morelia Boys Choir, concert information is available inside.
If you come by during the week in the afternoon you may be able
to hear them practicing inside.
- The convent of El Carmen (built in 1597) is now the home of Instituto
Michoacano de Cultura. Home to concerts, exhibits (you
can check the calendar there), book store and gallery.
- The convent of Santa Catarina
that dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
- The 1775 Museo Regional Michoacano (Allende
305 near Abasolo). Covers what is known about Morelia's history
from pre-conquest times to the 1900's.
- Casa Museo de Morelos is the house where Jose
Maria Morelos was born (now used as a museum). Exhibits include
artifacts from the independence movement and photos. Located on
Av. Morelos Sur 323.
- The convent of La Merced (1613)
- The convent of San Agustin (1550)
- The convent of San Francisco (1513)
- And the list could go on and on . . .
Parque Zoologico Benito Juarez : The largest zoo in Mexico. Located
on Calzada Juarez s/n
Casa de las Artesanias del Estado de Michoacan
: In the 1500's,
the Bishop of Michoacan (Vasco de Quiroga) came up with an idea to
help the local indigenous population become self supporting by developing
arts and crafts for sale . . . The Museo Michoacana de las Artesanias
ia a museum and store. Located on Fray Juan de San Miguel 129.