Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan, is in my opinion one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. I guess UNESCO agrees with me since it is also a World Heritage Site.
Dating from the 16th century, its architecture is impressive. All its historical buildings are built in the region’s pink stone and show details of Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles.
One such example is the Cathedral built between the 16th and 17th centuries. A blend of several styles of which you can admire in particular, the two remarkable baroque towers.
The streets still maintain the original plan and layout
There are also other very impressive churches
And important historical buildings like the San Nicolas de Hidalgo University, founded in 1540. It is now a public university and the oldest institution in the Americas.
However, more than historical facts and architectural wonders, it is the feel and spirit of the place that is the most important to me.
Especially on weekends, you admire the lively atmosphere. The Morelianos go out and enjoy the warm weather. They stroll around the beautiful streets and fill the cafes and restaurants in the main square. They eat great food not only in restaurants but in the street as well. There you can find food markets like this one, with regional specialties.
I tasted for the first time ¨gorditas de nata¨. They are the thick, sweet and small cakes that you can see in front of the standing lady. We loved them so much that we had to go back for more!
Often there is live music and the famous Old man’s dance in the main square. (see my post on this traditional dance)
The city offers a wide range of museums, art galleries and even an International Film Festival. Since 2003, it takes place each October and has brought famous directors like Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar and Guillermo del Toro.
Each November there is also the Morelia International Music Festival focused on classical music. Usually there are about 40 concerts with more than 500 musicians participating. Each year a different country is invited as special guest.
Some foreign governments and tourist guides currently have travel warnings on the state of Michoacan due to the drug cartels operating in the area. We have visited Morelia and other pueblos in Michoacan repeatedly and never felt in danger or threatened by anything. There are no guarantees of course. It is a question of choice and also being careful and aware of your environment. One of the rules we keep is never to travel by night.
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