Morelia is a city and municipality
Municipalities of Mexico
Municipalities are the second-level administrative division in Mexico . There are 2,438 municipalities in Mexico, making the average municipality population 45,616...

 in the north central part of the state of Michoacán
Michoacán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Michoacán de Ocampo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia...

 in central Mexico. The city is in the Guayangareo Valley and is the capital of the state. The main pre-Hispanic cultures here were the P'urhépecha
The P'urhépecha, normally spelled Purépecha in Spanish and in English and traditionally referred to as Tarascans, are an indigenous people centered in the northwestern region of the Mexican state of Michoacán, principally in the area of the cities of Uruapan and Pátzcuaro...

 and the Matlatzinca
Matlatzinca is a name used to refer to different indigenous ethnic groups in the Toluca Valley in the state of México, located in the central highlands of Mexico. The term is applied to the ethnic group inhabiting the valley of Toluca and to their language, Matlatzinca.When used as an ethnonym,...

, but no major cities were founded in the valley during this time. The Spanish took control of the area in the 1520s. The Spanish under Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 Antonio de Mendoza
Antonio de Mendoza
Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, Marquis of Mondéjar, Count of Tendilla , was the first viceroy of New Spain, serving from April 17, 1535 to November 25, 1550, and the second viceroy of Peru, from September 23, 1551 to July 21, 1552...

 founded a settlement here in 1541 with the name of Valladolid, which became rival to the nearby city of Pátzcuaro
Pátzcuaro is a large town and municipality located in the state of Michoacán. The town was founded sometime in the 1320s, at first becoming the capital of the Tarascan state and later its ceremonial center...

 for dominance in Michoacán. In 1580, this rivalry ended in Valladolid’s favor and it became the capital of the colonial province. After the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of José María Morelos y Pavón, who is from here. In 1991, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 for its well preserved colonial buildings and layout of the historic center.


Human settlements in the Guayangareo Valley in which Morelia is located have been dated back as far as the 7th century. Artifacts found here have shown Teotihuacán
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 culture influence on early cultures in this area. In the 12th century, the Tarascos or the P'urhépecha arrived in the valley. They dominated it politically for the rest of the pre-Hispanic period but did not build any major settlements here. Between the 12th and the 15th century, Matlatzincas moved into the area with permission of the Tarascos, who were based around nearby Pátzcuaro Lake. The main Matlatzinca settlement was where Júarez Plaza in the city is today.

The Spanish pushed into the Guayangareo Valley between 1525 and 1526, headed by Gonzalo Gómez. In the 1530s, the area was evangelized by Franciscans such as Juan de San Miguel and Antonio de Lisboa.

What would become the city of Morelia was founded by Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza and a number of encomenderos in 1541, who first named it Nueva Ciudad de Mechuacan (New City of Michoacán). The newly founded settlement grew quickly, prompting Vasco de Quiroga
Vasco de Quiroga
Vasco de Quiroga was the first bishop of Michoacán, Mexico and one of the judges in the second Audiencia that governed New Spain from January 10, 1531 to April 16, 1535....

 to go to Spain and procure for rival settlement Pátzcuaro the title of city and a seal, to prevent “new city” from becoming the capital of Michoacán. The action also required that the new settlement change its name to Guayangareo. In 1545, Guayangareo gained city status from Charles V in 1545 with the name of Valladolid, after the hometown of Antonio de Mendoza. This was part of a power struggle between Antonio de Mendoza and Vasco de Quiroga over the province of Michoacán. During Quiroga’s lifetime, he managed to keep political and ecclesiastical power in Pátzcuaro despite the viceroy’s and encomenderos’ objections. However, Quiroga died in 1578. By 1580, both political and religious authority had been transferred to the city of Valladolid, moving the College of San Nicolás, which Vasco founded and laying the groundwork for establishing a new cathedral for the province.

The 17th century saw growth for Valladolid, with the construction of the cathedral and aqueduct. The cathedral was begun in 1640 (finished in 1744) and the aqueduct in 1657. During the 17th century, many of the city’s large churches and monasteries were established, such as the monasteries of San Francisco, San Agustin, El Carmen and La Merced as well as the convents of Las Rocas, Las Monjas and Capuchinas. Churches include La Compañía, San Juan and La Cruz, but the most important structure built during this time period was the Cathedral. The location of this cathedral defined the composition and development of the city from then on.

At the end of the colonial period, Valladolid was a small city with about 20,000 inhabitants. It was also an educational center with four important schools such as the College of San Nicolás. These schools would turn out scholars such as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and José María Morelos y Pavón, who were sympathetic to the new republican ideas coming out of post-revolution France
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and United States. Demonstrations against Spanish rule had been occurring in the town in 1809, culminating in the Conspiracy of 1809. This plot was discovered, with the main conspirators were arrested and sent to other parts of New Spain, which helped to spread republican ideas.

One year later, after forming his army in Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 state, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla arrived and took over the city, proclaiming the end of slavery in Mexico. The city was taken back by royalist forces soon after. Morelos came here to try and dislodge the royalists but was defeated by Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu , also known as Augustine I of Mexico, was a Mexican army general who built a successful political and military coalition that was able to march into Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively ending the Mexican War of Independence...

. Another prominent figure in the war, Mariano Matamoros
Mariano Matamoros
Mariano Matamoros y Guridi was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel soldier of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought for independence against Spain in the early 19th century....

 was shot by firing squad on the city’s main square in 1814. The city remained in royalist hands until 1821, Iturbide, who had switch sides, and Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and served briefly as President of Mexico...

 entered the city with the Trigarante Army
Army of the Three Guarantees
At the end of the Mexican War of Independence, the Army of the Three Guarantees was the name given to the army after the unification of the Spanish troops led by Agustín de Iturbide and the Mexican insurgent troops of Vicente Guerrero, consolidating Mexico's independence from Spain...


In 1828, the newly created state of Michoacán changed the name of the city from Valladolid to Morelia, in honor of José María Morelos y Pavón. This is the official name it retains today, although its P'urhépecha name remains Uaianarhio and has had nicknames such as City of Pink (Cantera) Stone, the City of Open Doors, The Rose of the Winds, The Garden of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 and religiously as Morelia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The city became a municipality in 1831.
The later 19th century is marked by struggles between liberal and conservatives forces in Mexico. During the Revolution of Ayutla, the city was taken by rebel forces under Epitafio Huerta and General García Pueblita, but was taken back in 1855 by forces under Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

. Rebels attacked Santa Anna’s troops again a year later. French troops imposing imperial rule entered the city in 1863, with the republican forces moving capital of Michoacán to Uruapan
Uruapan is a city and municipality in the west-central part of the Mexican state of Michoacán. The city is the municipal seat of the municipality...

 while conservative families in Morelia pledged support for emperor Maximilian I
Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire.After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on April 10, 1864, with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy...

, who then visited the city. In 1867, the city is taken by republican general Nicolás de Régules and the capital of Michoacán returned to Morelia. In 1869, during a rebellion against Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez born Benito Pablo Juárez García, was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872...

’s government, General Epitacio Huerta attacked government positions in the city but were beaten back by forces under Mariano Escobedo
Mariano Escobedo
Mariano Escobedo was a Mexican Army general and former Governor of Nuevo León.He was born on January 16, 1826 in Galeana, Nuevo León. He fought during the Mexican American War in the army with the rank of lieutenant...


The first factories were opened in the city between 1868 and 1870, along with the first telegraph line. The railroad followed in 1883, as well as street cars.

In 1910, celebrations are held for the centennial of Independence but tensions are high in the city due to the shortage of grain and the continuation of President Porfirio Diaz
Porfirio Díaz
José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori was a Mexican-American War volunteer and French intervention hero, an accomplished general and the President of Mexico continuously from 1876 to 1911, with the exception of a brief term in 1876 when he left Juan N...

 in power. One year later, revolutionaries loyal to Francisco I. Madero
Francisco I. Madero
Francisco Ignacio Madero González was a politician, writer and revolutionary who served as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. As a respectable upper-class politician, he supplied a center around which opposition to the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz could coalesce...

 are welcomed into the city. In 1914, the capital was moved from Morelia to the city of Tacámbaro. The city was then taken by forces under General Sánchez in the same year, and by forces loyal to Francisco Villa in 1915.

In 1920, the Palace of the State Government was briefly taken over by farm workers and others from all over the state. Isaac Arriaga is assassinated here in 1921. The city is attacked again by rebels calling themselves “Delahuertistas” in 1924. The fight mostly occurs in the main plaza with the city defended by General Lopez, Garcia and Avila Camacho.

During the 1960s the street vendors were removed from the historic center of the city, and palm trees that lined the Avenida Madero, the main east-west road, were cut down. In 1966, there was a student revolt at the state university which was put down by the army.
The 1970s and 1980s are marked by construction including the Periferico bypass ring around the city. During the 1980s, damage due to geographic faults, exacerbated by falling water tables from groundwater pumping is noticed. This problem is similar to problems faced by other cities on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt
Trans-Mexican volcanic belt
The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Transvolcanic Belt and locally as the Sierra Nevada , is a volcanic belt that extends 900 km from west to east across central-southern Mexico...

 such as Querétaro and Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...


In 1991, the city was declared a UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site due to its well preserved colonial architecture. In 2001, street vendors were moved again from the historic center to make the area more tourist-friendly. Traffic was rerouted from here as well with the construction of new bypasses. In 2006 and 2007, many of the plazas and gardens in the historic center were remodeled.

In 2009, the Morelia metropolitan area was tentatively established as consisting of the municipalities of Zinapécuaro, Álvaro Obregón
Álvaro Obregón, Michoacán
Álvaro Obregón is located in the center zone of the Mexican state of Michoacán.This town limits with the state of Guanajuato to the north, with Querendaro and Indaparapeo to the east, with Charo to the south, with Tarimbaro to the west and with Cuitzeo to the northwest. It is also home to Morelia's...

, Charo
Charo, Michoacán
Charo is a municipality located in the Mexican state of Michoacán. The municipality has an area of 322.50 square kilometres and is bordered to the north by Tarímbaro and Álvaro Obregón, to the east by Indaparapeo, to the south by Tzitzío, and to the west and southwest by Morelia...

, Tarímbaro and Morelia. This initial determination was made the by Secretary of Urbanism and Environment, with further refinements to be made as the municipal presidents of these entities meets to discuss limits, strategies and further actions. One of these actions has been to establish a formal commission to administer the area.

Notable sites

Almost all of Morelia’s notable sites lie in its historic center, due to its history. This historic center is roughly equivalent to the original layout of the city when it was founded in 1541, and most of this layout has survived intact to the present day. Anticipating growth, this original layout had very wide streets and plazas for the time, with streets systematically arranged to allow for elongation. The streets are systematically laid out, but not rigidly squared, with most having gentle curves designed into them. Most of the grandest structures were completed during the 18th century, including the facade and bell towers of the Cathedral, the Colegio Seminario (today the State Government Palace), La Alhóndiga (today part of the Palace of Justice) and numerous private mansions. During the same time period, infrastructure such as the city’s aqueduct and various plaza fountains were constructed. The Mexican federal government lists 1,113 buildings built from the 16th to the 20th century as having historical value. The buildings encompass the various architectural styles that have been fashionable in Mexico, but nearly all are built of pink cantera stone, which gives the city a unified appearance. Several measures were taken in the 20th century to preserve this part of the city. In 1956, the city enacted regulations to preserve the historic center’s colonial buildings. In 1990, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari issued a decree making the historic center of Morelia a national historic monument. In 1991, the same area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which covers 200 of the area’s historic buildings.
The heart of the historic center is the Cathedral and its surrounding plazas: the Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza de los Mártires, the Juárez Plaza and the Melchor Ocampo Plaza. The largest plaza is the Plaza de Armas, which has been remodeled several times since it was designed in the 16th century. It has been renamed several times as well, from “de la Constitución,” “de la República” to the current official name of “de los Mártires” but popularly it retains the name of “Plaza de Armas.” The alternate name, Plaza de los Mártires (Plaza of the Martyrs) is in honor of people like Mariano Matamoros, Guadalupe el Salto and others who were executed here during the Mexican War of Independence and later in 1830 during political unrest. The plaza is surrounded by portals, and colonial era buildings such as the Banca Promex, the Virrey de Mendoza Hotel, the Juan de Dios Gomez House and the old town hall, also called the Michelena House. Until the late 19th century, a monument to Morelos had been here, but this was removed along with the fountain and replaced by a kiosk
Kiosk is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, India, Pakistan, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward...

 that was brought from London and remains to this day The last remodeling of the plaza occurred in the mid 20th century under the direction of architect and painter Juan O'Gorman
Juan O'Gorman
Juan O'Gorman was a Mexican painter and architect.-Biography:O'Gorman was born in Coyoacán, then a village to the south of Mexico City and now a borough of the Federal District, to an Irish father, Cecil Crawford O'Gorman and a Mexican mother...

. The Melchor Ocampo
Melchor Ocampo
Melchor Ocampo was a Mexican lawyer, scientist, and liberal politician.His home state was renamed Michoacán de Ocampo in his honour.-Studies:...

was originally named “Plaza de la Paz.” In the late 19th century, this plaza was remodeled and a monument to Ocampo sculpted by Primitivo Miranda was placed here. Another statue by Miranda, this one of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon was placed in the small plaza on the west side of the Cathedral and named the Morelos Plaza.
The first church on the Cathedral site was built in 1577, which was a modest structure of adobe and wood. Many years later, this structure would be almost completely destroyed by a fire. Originally, the Cathedral of Michoacán was in Pátzcuaro in a church that now is the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Salud. When cathedral status was moved from there to Valladolid in 1580, the city became the civil, religious and cultural capital of the territory. In 1660, Bishop Marcos Ramírez del Prado, placed the first stone of the new Cathedral, which was designed by Vicenzo Baroccio. Of the major churches of the early colonial period, only this and the Mexico City Cathedral do not face west, as was customary. The Cathedral of Michoacán is also unique in that is it is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus
Transfiguration of Jesus
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament in which Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it....

, rather than some form of the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1705, even though it was not yet finished. The facade as a relief of the transfiguration of Christ and the east nave
In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

 is dedicated to the sheepherders and Wise Men
Biblical Magi
The Magi Greek: μάγοι, magoi), also referred to as the Wise Men, Kings, Astrologers, or Kings from the East, were a group of distinguished foreigners who were said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh...

 of the Nativity
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

. Built of pink cantera stone, the Cathedrals two sixty meter high towers still dominate the skyline of the city, and are the second tallest Baroque towers in Mexico.

The Cathedral’s official name is Cathedral of the Divine Savior of Morelia. Since it was built over the 17th and 18th century, elements of Neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

, Herreresque and Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 can be seen in the building. The facade of the Cathedral is mostly decorated in pilaster
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....

s rather than columns and relieves rather than sculptures. There are more than two hundred pilasters but no columns, the only church built this way during the colonial period.

Inside, there are a number of elements that stand out. The baptismal font
Baptismal font
A baptismal font is an article of church furniture or a fixture used for the baptism of children and adults.-Aspersion and affusion fonts:...

 was made of silver in the 19th century and was used to baptize Mexico’s first emperor, Agustín de Iturbide. A three meter tall monstrance made of pure silver adorns the main altar and is unique in that it can be disassembled and reassembled. Also on the altar is a 16th century cornstalk paste image of the Señor de la Sacristía (Lord of the Sacristy
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records.The sacristy is usually located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building...

), whose gold crown was a gift from Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. A newer addition is the organ from Germany, which has 4,600 pipes and is one of the largest in Latin America. On Saturdays at 8:45pm the Cathedral sponsors a sound and light show.

In front of the Cathedral is the old Seminario Tridentino de San Pedro, one of the educational institutions of the colonial city. Today it is the Palace of the State Government. It was constructed by Thomás de Huerta in the latter 18th century. The school had graduates such as José María Morelos and Melchor Ocampo. The facade is mostly the original, with only the seal of Mexico
Coat of arms of Mexico
The current coat of arms of Mexico has been an important symbol of Mexican politics and culture for centuries. The coat of arms depicts a Mexican Golden Eagle perched upon a prickly pear cactus devouring a snake. To the people of Tenochtitlan this would have strong religious connotations, but to...

 added in the mid 19th century, when this building was converted for use as the home of the Michoacán state government. Inside are three courtyards with the walls of the first courtyard covered in murals done by Alfredo Zalce in the 1960s.
The Casa de la Cultura is also the home of the Instituto Michoacano de Cultura (Michoacan Institute of Culture) and the State Secretary of Culture. It is in the former monastery of Nuestra Señora del Carmen Descalzo, which was established in 1593. The church building was probably finished in 1619, the date inscribed on the south portal, but monastery construction continued into the 17th century. In the 19th century, the Reform Laws
Reform War
The Reform War in Mexico is one of the episodes of the long struggle between Liberal and Conservative forces that dominated the country’s history in the 19th century. The Liberals wanted a federalist government, limiting traditional Catholic Church and military influence in the country...

 expropriated the cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

s and living quarters but left the church to its religious function, which continues to this day. After expropriation, the monastery area was first used as the home of the Primer Cuerpo de Caballería del Estado (First Calvary Corps of the State). Over time the church fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1940s. The rest of the complex was restored and converted to its present function starting in 1977.

The Orquidario of Morelia is an orchid museum which houses approximately 3,400 species of the flower. The botanical garden consists of three greenhouses with some outside space. The museum is managed by SEMARNAT as part of a program to preserve wild species. The botanical garden has a surface area of over 990 meters2 and was founded in 1980.
The Museo Regional Michoacano (Regional Museum of Michoacán) was founded in 1886 and its design was heavily influenced by French ideas of museum design of the time. It is housed in a building that belonged to Emperor Maximilian I, and is of ornate Baroque design. Most of the exhibits are about the history of the region with rooms dedicated to pre-Hispanic artifacts and colonial art. One noted piece is the painting called “Traslado de las Monjas” which is considered to be the finest work produced in Michoacán during the colonial period. Other important works include the original volume of the Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland, edited in Paris in 1807 and the murals done by Alfredo Zalce, Federico Cantú and Grace Greenwood
Grace Greenwood Ames
Grace Greenwood Ames was an American artist, who worked predominantly in Mexico, where she got her artistic training....

. There are also interactive exhibits on the origins of the earth and life. The museum also has conference rooms, a library and a reading room.

The Museo del Estado (The State Museum) is dedicated to the state’s past and present. It was opened in 1986 and divided into three sections – archeology, history and ethnology of the state. There is also an exhibit of the old Mier Pharmacy with its equipment from 1868. The museum is amansion dating from the 18th century.

The Museo de Arte Colonial (Museum of Colonial Art) holds a collection of documents, old books, religious ornaments and maps from the colonial period. Its main attraction is its collection of more than 100 figures of Christ done in cornstalk paste. These figures were created by indigenous artists, starting under the direction of Vasco de Quiroga, between the 16th and 19th centuries. There are also paintings done by Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera
José Miguel Cabrera Torres nicknamed "Miggy", is a Venezuelan professional baseball first baseman with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He bats and throws right-handed....

 and Jose Padilla
José Padilla
José Padilla is the name of:* José Gualberto Padilla , Puerto Rican poet, politician and advocate of Puerto Rican indepedence.* José Prudencio Padilla , Colombian military leader...

from the 18th century. The museum is in an old Baroque residence from the 18th century. Prior to the building’s use as a museum, it was the site of the first official government press in the state, founded in 1821.

The Casa Museum José María Morelos y Pavón (José María Morelos y Pavón House Museum) contains a collection of items from the colonial and early independence periods of Mexico’s history, including articles that belonged to Morelos himself. Morelos bought the house in 1802, but did not live there much, especially in the years just before and during the Mexican War of Independence because of his involvement with the movement. In 1933, the house was declared a national monument and in 1939 became the property of INAH to be converted into this museum. Later, the building underwent another round of restoration work and was re-inaugurated in 1991. The lower level is mostly dedicated to Morelos with the rooms on the upper level dedicated to the war in general. The museum is also the archive of the Bishopric of Michoacán and contains documents from the 16th to the 20th century.
The Casa Natal de Morelos (Morelos’ Birthplace) is the house where José María Morelos y Pavón was born in 1765. The building is a large mansion with a Neoclassic facade and a Baroque interior. In 1888, the original building was destroyed to build a farmhouse. This is the building that has been restored and turned into a museum in 1964, for the coming bicentennial of Morelos’ birth. The museum contains documents and belongings of Morelos including ones he signed, money he had coined, paintings and a large library.

The Museo de la Máscara (Mask Museum) presents two different mask collections, totaling more than 165 examples from cultures in twenty Mexican states. It is located in the Casa de Artesanias de Morelia (Handcraft House of Morelia).

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Alfredo Zalce (Alfredo Zalce Museum of Contemporary Art) mostly contains works done by Alfredo Zalce and Efraín Vargas, both renowned Michoacán painters. It also holds temporary exhibits by Mexican and international artists.

In this city was born actress Raquel Morell
Raquel Morell
Raquel Morell is a Mexican actress who appears in many telenovelas.She was born on February 4, 1959 in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.She is probably the best known for her role of Blanca De Velasco de Peñarreal in telenovela Esmeralda. Blanca was a mother of Esmeralda, who was played by Leticia Calderón...



The Festival Internacional de Música de Morelia is an annual event that was begun in 1988 by Bernal Jiménez, who had the dream of making Morelia the “Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

 of Latin America.” The festival consists of more than forty concerts with over 500 artists participating. It has become the largest music festival in Morelia, with private and government sponsors, esp. CONACULTA. Concerts include those by chamber orquestras, choirs, ensambles, trios and soloists such as pianist Joanna MacGregor and the Britten Symphony.Each year, a different country is the “special guest,” which in 2009 was the United Kingdom. In that year, some of the participants included the London Symphony Orchestra, the Brodsky Quartet, La Britten Symphony Orchestra, the Coro Nova Scholla Gregoriana Di Verona of Italy, and violinist Tanya Anisimova from Russia. Participants from Mexico included the National Symphonic Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería and flautist Horacio

The Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia was begun in 2002, and is mostly dedicated to Mexican cinema, showcasing up-and-coming directors and productions. Winners of the 2009 festival include “Alamar” by Pedro González Rubio, “Presunto culpable” by Roberto Hernándex and Geoffrey Smith and “La sirena y el buzo” by Mercedes Moncada.

Morelia is the site of the annual Zapata Vive Morelia Festival, which celebrates the life of Emiliano Zapata with cultural and political activities. The purpose of the event is to promote exhibitions by artistic, cultural and social organizations from the state of Michoacán and other parts of the country. Events are spread out over several days and include ones such as concerts, round tables and information sessions. The event encourages those organizations who work with the lower social classes and are politically left to participate.

The Festival de Escala is an annual event dedicated to promoting rock climbing in the municipality at places such as El Paredón de la Noria, just south of the city proper.

A popular festival that features a 3 day Salsa competition in the heart of Morelia is called "SalsaMich". Typically held in March, the festival brings Salsa dancers from all across the country to Morelia to compete for prizes.


During the colonial period the city had four major educational institutions, the Colegio Seminario Tridentino, the Colegio de San Nicolás, the Colegio de los Jesuitas and the Colegio de las Rocas.

The state university, the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo is a public university in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, and the oldest institution of higher education in the Americas...

, is the oldest university in the Americas, which has its origins in the college founded in 1540 by Vasco de Quiroga in Pátzcuaro, the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo. This school was originally founded to train priests and missionaries for work in Michoacán. The school gained a royal seal and patronage in 1543. In 1566, colonial religious authorities took over the school and in 1574, academics here were under the jurisdiction of the Jesuits. With the episcopal seat changed to Valladolid, the school moved also in 1580 and was fused with the already existing Colegio de San Miguel Guayangareo. The school was reformed in the 17th century and its curriculum was redesigned in the 18th to include courses in philosophy, religious law, civil law and other subjects. At the beginning the 19th century, the school became one of New Spain’s main centers of learning and academia, producing scholars such as a Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, José Ma. Morelos, José Sixto Verduzco, José María. Izazaga and Ignacio López Rayón
Ignacio López Rayón
Ignacio López Rayón led the revolutionary government of his country after Miguel Hidalgo's death, during the first years of the Mexican War of Independence....

, most of whom would have a role in the upcoming Mexican War of Independence. The school closed during the war but was reopened in 1847 with the name Primitivo y Nacional Colegio de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, focusing more on secular studies such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, etc. based on the European university model.

After the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

, the school was reorganized and renamed again to the Universidad Michocana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in 1917, which consolidated a number of other schools and disciplines into the new organization.

Other universities in the city include Instituto Tecnológico de Morelia
Instituto Tecnológico de Morelia
The Morelia Institute of Technology , also known as Morelia Tech , is a public university in Morelia, Michoacán, México founded in 1964.-Undergraduate Programs:...

 (ITM), Universidad Tecnológica de Morelia (UTM), Instituto Michoacano de Ciencias de la Educación, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Estado de Michoacán (CIDEM), UNAM Campus Morelia, Instituo de Estudios Superiores de la Comunicación (IESCAC), Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Conservatorio de las Rosas, Universidad Vasco de Quiroga, Universidad Latina de America, Universidad La Salle Morelia, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey- Campus Morelia and Universidad Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.


Morelia is represented by their first division soccer team, Monarcas Morelia.

Club Morelia was founded in 1924 on a field outside the city where a monument to Lázaro Cárdenas is now located. The team's original name was Oro (gold) and was owned by Eucuario Gómez.
In 1951, after winning the championship of Mexico’s Second Division, it was renamed Club Deportivo Morelia, and Club Atletico Morelia After entering the 1st division for the first time. The team
was nicknamed “Amarillo”(Yellow) During the 1956-57 season, when the club won the right to play in the 1st division in which they played in their first tournament for the Copa México
Copa México
The Copa México was a Mexican football cup competition that existed from 1907 to 1997. It consisted of both professional and amateur stages. It was the first official tournament that included teams from different parts of Mexico, and it was an important and prestigious tournament, especially during...

 against Club América
Club América
Club América is a Mexican Professional football club based in Mexico City. It competes in the Primera División, the top professional league in the country. The team's nickname is Las Águilas ....


The club descended into the 2nd division again in 1968 and experienced tough times during the early 70s. By the end of the 73-74 season the team was completely restructured by 32 Morelia Businessmen who acquired the team. After 13 years in the 2nd division, the team finally returned to 1st division play in 1981 and by the mid 80s was competitive and reaching the Liguilla (playoffs) regularly.

Following many years of playing at Estadio Venustiano Carranza, the completion of Estadio Morelos
Estadio Morelos
Estadio Morelos is a football stadium located along Periférico Independencia, in the Independencia sector, in the foot of the Cerro del Quinceo in northwest Morelia, Michoacán, México. It's the site of professional football teams, Monarcas Morelia in the top division of Mexican football and...

 in 1989 gave the team a new home. In 1996, the team was acquired by TV Azteca
TV Azteca
Azteca, is the second largest Mexican television entertainment. It was established in 1983 as the state-owned Instituto Mexicano de la Televisión , a holding of the national TV networks channel 13 and 7 and was privatized under its current name in 1993 and now is part of Grupo Salinas...

 and the name Monarcas (Monarchs) Morelia was adopted in 1999. The team won its first championship during the Invierno 2000 season and by mid-decade, was playing in international competition such as the Copa Libertadores and the Liga de Campeones de la CONACACAF (CONCACAF Champions League
CONCACAF Champions League
The CONCACAF Champions League is the annual international club football championship for teams from the CONCACAF region ....

). The team's latest success came during the 2010 North American SuperLiga
2010 North American SuperLiga
The 2010 SuperLiga was the fourth edition of the SuperLiga. The top four overall Major League Soccer teams from the 2009 season not already qualified for the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League earned qualification as well as four clubs from the Primera División de México.- Qualification :The teams...

 tournament, which Monarcas won over the New England Revolution
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution is an American professional association football club based in Foxborough, Massachusetts which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada...

 on September 1, 2010 at New England.

The team closed the Apertura 2010 tournament of the Primera División de México
Primera División de México
The Primera División Profesional , known simply as the Primera División, is the top level of the Mexican football league system and is administered by the Mexican Football Federation. It was established in 1943 and as of 2011 has 18 clubs. Up to June 2011, it was divided into three groups competing...

 (Mexico's 1st division), failing to make the "liguilla".


Morelia is four hours from Mexico City via the Atlacomulco
Atlacomulco is a city and municipality located in the northwest of the State of Mexico in central Mexico, 63 km from the state capital of Toluca. The name is derived from the Nahuatl phrase "atlacomulli" which means "where there are wells." The city, with a population of 20,477 is...

Santiago Maravatío
Santiago Maravatío is a Mexican city located in the Bajío of the state of Guanajuato. With an area of 91.760 square kilometres, Santiago Maravatío accounts for less than 1% of the surface of the state...

-Morelia highway and is connected by highways to the states of Mexico, Querétaro
Querétaro officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Querétaro de Arteaga is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities and its capital city is Santiago de Querétaro....

, Guanajuato and Jalisco
Jalisco officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is located in Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities and its capital city is Guadalajara.It is one of the more important states...

. It is connected to the Michoacán coast via highway 200 that passes through Uruapan to the port of Lázaro Cárdenas
Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán
Lázaro Cárdenas is a port city that with its surrounding municipality is located in the southern part of the Mexican state of Michoacán. It was formerly known as Los Llanitos, but changed its name as a tribute to Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, a Michoacán-born politician who was president of Mexico from...

. General Francisco Mujica International Airport or Morelia International Airport (IATA: MLM, ICAO: MMMM) is an international airport at Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. The airport handles both domestic and international flights, with connections to Mexico City, Uruapan, Lázaro Cárdenas, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana and several destinations in the United States. The airport is named after a former governor of the state of Michoacán.

The municipality

As municipal seat, the city of Morelia is the governing authority of 423 other communities, almost all of which are small communities of between three and 1,000 people. 89% of the municipalities 684,145 people in the city itself The municipality covers a territory of 1,199.02km2 and borders the municipalities of Tarímbaro
Tarímbaro is a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán which Valtazar Gaona is the major of. The municipality has an area of 258.57 square kilometres and is bordered to the north by Copándaro, Meson Nuevo and Cuitzeo, to the east by Álvaro Obregón, to the south by Morelia and Charo, and to...

, Chucándiro, Huaniqueo, Charo, Tzitzío, Villa Madero
Madero may refer to:In people:* Francisco I. Madero , politician, writer and revolutionary who served as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913* Gustavo A...

, Acuitzio, Lagunillas, Coeneo
Coeneo de la Libertad
Coeneo de la Libertad is a town, the seat of the Coeneo municipality, located in the north central area of the Mexican state of Michoacán. The name Coeneo means "Lugar de Pájaros" .-History:...

, Tzintzuntzan
Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán
Tzintzuntzán is a town and municipality located in the north of Michoacán state, 53 km from the capital of Morelia and 17.5 km from Pátzcuaro, located on the northeast shore of Lake Pátzcuaro. It is best known as the former capital of the Tarascan state until it was conquered by the...

 and Quiroga
Quiroga, Michoacán
Quiroga is a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán. The municipal seat of Quiroga is also called Quiroga.-Geographic location:The municipality of Quiroga is located at the north of the State, at coordinates 19 º 40 'N latitude and 101 ° 32' west. At an altitude of 2080 meters above sea level...


Much of the municipality is in the Guayangareo Valley between two rivers: the El Grande and the El Chiquito. Guayangareo means "large hill with a flat side." The municipality’s territory is rugged and dominated by peaks such as Punhuato, El Zapote and the Otzumatlán mountain range, with the highest peak being Quinceo
Cerro del Quinceo
The Cerro del Quinceo is an inactive volcano and the highest mountain in the municipality of Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. The mountain is a destination for tracking, hiking and hang gliding....

 with an altitude of 2,787 meters. The municipality belongs to the Lerma
Lerma River
The Lerma Santiago River is Mexico's second longest river. It is a river in west-central Mexico that begins in Mexican Plateau at an altitude over above sea level, and ends where it empties into Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest lake, near Guadalajara, Jalisco...

-Santiago river hydraulic region, with the main rivers being the El Grande and the El Chiquito. There are a number of streams including the Zarza and Pitaya. The most important dam here is Cointzio, with other smaller ones being Umécuaro, Laja Caliente and La Mintzita. The climate here is between temperate and subtropical with average humidity. Most precipitation falls during the summer rainy season. Average annual temperature is between 14 and 18 °C, with maximum temperatures of 38 °C in the early summer.
Vegetation outside the city varies based on altitude and the type of soil. Mountainous areas are mostly covered in conifers while lower and drier areas have trees such as mesquite
Mesquite is a leguminous plant of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexico through the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California,and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where...

. To the south of the city is the Lázaro Cárdenas Forest, which is an ecological reserve. Animal life mostly consists of small mammals, with coyotes being the largest, birds of prey and some reptiles.

The growth of the city of Morelia is having a negative impact on the surrounded forested area. This is particularly problematic in the area north of the city, which belongs to the Lake Cuitzeo
Lake Cuitzeo
Lake Cuitzeo is a lake in central part of Mexico, in the Michoacán State. It is located at around . It has an area of 300-400 km². The lake is astatic, and the volume and level of water in the lake fluctuates frequently. It is the second largest freshwater lake in Mexico.Lake Cuitzeo lies in an...

 basin, and is a main recharge area for the city’s aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

. The forested areas around the city are also important for the city’s air quality and as a breeding place for pollinating insects needed for agriculture. UNAM
UNAM or UNaM may refer to:* National University of Misiones, a National University in Posadas, Argentina*National Autonomous University of Mexico , the large public autonomous university based in Mexico City...

 has been documenting the species in these forests with the aim of getting them declared as biological reserves.
Most people (+63%) are employed in the commerce section of the economy, with about 25% involved employed in manufacturing and construction industries. Less than ten percent are involved in agriculture. One industrial area is the Ciudad Industrial de Morelia, which mostly houses small and medium-sized enterprises. Some of the products manufactured here include cooking oil, flour, cement, plastics, bottling and candies. Tourism is a rising component of the economy, taking advantage of area’s colonial heritage, smaller traditional communities, natural areas and archeological zones such as Santa María de Guido in the city, Barranca de los Lobos in Teremendo, Nahuatl Sanctuary and Yácatas in Capula. However, it has not been developed sufficiently to be a major contributor.

According to Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's is a United States-based financial services company. It is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds. It is well known for its stock-market indices, the US-based S&P 500, the Australian S&P/ASX 200, the Canadian...

report for November 2009, the government of Morelia maintains an adequate development budget, backed by relatively high income and low debt. It is rated on a national scale for Mexico as A+. The economy is projected to be stable with the government keeping control of expenses.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.