Mexico / Central Mexico / Michoacán
Friday, August 23, 2019
Blick auf das Zentrum von Morelia
View oft he center of Morelia
Kirche in Morelia
Church in Morelia
Monarchfalter in der Nähe von Morelia
Monarch butterflies Michoacán
Gitarrenbauer in Paracho
Luthiers in Paracho


Michoacán is well-known for its continuously moderate climate. Between November and February, the summits between Morelia and Toluca are the meeting place of monarch butterflies. Spread over thousands of trees, millions and millions of these butterflies hibernate in the pine forests and transform them into a dream of black and orange.

Uruapan is considered the avocado capital of Mexico, whereas Paracho is renowned for its guitar builders. The macadamia nuts grown in the state are likewise known all over the world.

An overview of Michoacán would be incomplete without mentioning Morelia, the colonial beauty in the valley of Guyangareo. The university town of 600,000 inhabitants was founded as Valladolid in 1541 and renamed Morelia in the honor of Mexican freedom fighter José María Morelos y Pavón in 1828. The broad boulevards of the historic center are lined with countless buildings that boast magnificent Baroque façades of pink-brown trachyte and intricate stucco decorations. The UNESCO registered the old town with its highly harmonic appearance as a Cultural World Heritage in 1991. All details of its buildings reflect the wealth of the Spanish 16th- to 19th-century upper class. The deep-felt religiosity of the Morelians becomes apparent in the layout of the streets and avenidas, which inevitably lead to some shrine or church.

Our tour through the historic center thus aptly begins in the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a very colorful church, which was built in 1702, but whose present decoration, by regional artist Don Joaquín Orta, dates back only to 1915. In this church, French Rococo meets the traditional style of local artisans – original, colorful, and very interesting! Taking the Calzada Fray Antonio de San Miguel, a pedestrian area from 1732, we saunter to the real center of Morelia. On our way, there are many opportunities to see the famous aqueduct. This 253-arch structure, which is about 2,000 m (c. 6,500 ft.) long, was ordered by Bishop Fray Antonio in 1785 to supply the town with potable water and to provide the indigenous population with work.

We continue to the regional Candy Museum where you will taste typical Mexican sweets such as ates, a cuttable fruit paste, laminilla, or capirotada, a bread pudding. After this refreshment, you go to the church and convent of San Francisco, a building in Plateresque style; the Franciscans laid its foundations in 1531, thus founding the first monastery in then Valladolid. It today accommodates the Casa de las Artesanías de Michoacán, where the state of Michoacán displays a large collection of handcrafted products, workshops of freelance artists, and many enticing little shops that welcome you to stroll.

Our tour ends directly on the bustling zócalo, where we visit Morelia’s impressive cathedral.