The aqueduct, Morelia
The aqueduct, still standing with its 253 arches, marvelously illuminated at night. The Callejón del Romance, with inscriptions of love etched on the walls. The rose garden, a haven for peace and quiet, right in the middle of the city. The Traslado de las Monjas, a painting of a historical event...
Casa de artesanías, Morelia
In the city of Morelia, whose historic center has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, visitors have their first encounter with the world created by Vasco de Quiroga. The magnificent exhibition of popular arts of Michoacán in the Casa de las Artesanías, located in the old San Francisco monastery is, in itself, a suggestion for a fascinating tour: the handcrafting villages conceived by Tata Vasco; and the Colegio San Nicolás, also founded by him, and the place where such greats of Mexican history as Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos y Pavón acquired their humanistic vision.
The arcades around the main square, Morelia
Life bustles in the columned arcades, with their sun-drenched terraces, where you can rest, have refreshments and buy a piece of art as a souvenir.
Palacio Clavijero, Morelia
A stroll around the old city of Valladolid is the perfect way to take in the magnificence of the colonial Baroque style of building and discover such architectural jewels in pink quarry stone as the Palacio Clavijero, the library and the majestic cathedral that defies time. Art flows freely in the Casa de la Cultura, in the ex Convento del Carmen and in the Las Rosas music conservatory and church.
The Sistine Chapel of Michoacán, Tupátaro
It is a truly extraordinary experience to enter the humble Templo de Santiago in Tupátaro and to behold the magnificent Indian artwork, as seen in the 42 squares comprising the church’s coffered ceiling. Dominating the nave of this small place of worship is a multicolored, wooden altarpiece.
The Museo de Artes e Industrias Populares, Pátzcuaro
It has an incredible collection of regional handicrafts, including ceramics, masks, toys, shawls, feather art, objects in shellac and lacquer. Of particular note is the 18th century Cristo de la Cruz made out of cane pulp.
Named by the Tzacapu-Humacuti Purépecha Indians, Pátzcuaro means "the location of the stone showing the entrance to paradise," and Tata Vasco must have thought there could be no better place to start building a better world. Designed for the coexistence of different cultures, Pátzcuaro invites you to explore the steep, winding streets leading to its fascinating historical palaces, monasteries, colleges, churches and museums.
Colonnaded arcades surrounding the main square, Pátzcuaro
At the end of the day, you can feel the vital pulse of the this magical town, the hustle and bustle of tradesmen and women selling their wares, the ice cream vendors… the delicious aromas wafting from the restaurants in the arcades, creating a unique ambiance of authenticity.
The Library of Gestrudis Bocanegra, Pátzcuaro
El Hospitalito, a small, well-preserved 16th century church. The Convento de Sta. Catarina, the only nuns’ convent, famous today for its delicious sweets. The Juan O’Gorman mural in the library in what used to be the San Agustín church.
Pátzcuaro Lake was the territory of the ancient Purépecha empire and small settlements flourished along its shores thousands of years before the arrival of the Spaniards. Make sure you don’t miss. The panoramic view of the islands in the Pátzcuaro lake from the coast road between Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio. The Fiesta de los Diablos (The Devils’ Party) held in Tzurumútaro during Holy Week.
San Francisco monastery, Tzintzuntzan
The old San Francisco monastery in Tzintzuntzan, the old capital of the Tarascan empire, was where Don Vasco started his work. Also famous for its pottery .
Huatápera, Santa Fe de la Laguna
And the nearby Santa Fe de la Laguna is the location of the first hospital in Michoacán founded by him, thus starting a practice of caring for the sick that has lasted to the present. Santa Fe de la Laguna and Capula are popular for their pottery.
Don Vasco was the driving force behind the teaching of more than twenty trades among thirty Michoacán townships and settlements, and the Indian craftsmen perfected his techniques. Nowadays, the production of handicrafts continues to be a source of income for thousands of families. Painting and feather art in Pátzcuaro; objects of art made out of copper in Santa Clara; hats made of palm leaves, fishing nets in Erongarícuaro and Jarácuaro.
The nocturnal celebrations on All Saints’ Day in the Pátzcuaro region have an effect on every visitor who witnesses them. Families and their loved ones go to cemeteries that become filled with candles, offerings, flowers and souvenirs. The Tarascan tradition considers that death is part of the cycle of life, and families thank the deceased person for taking care of them and for nourishing the earth that feeds them. Every village observes the night of All Saints’ Day according to its particular customs. The celebrations taking place in Arocutín, Ihuatzi and Janitzio are particularly popular.
Don Vasco de Quiroga’s humanist legacy is evident at the University of San Nicolás. A journey in time and space starts from this point and takes one to the roots of his thoughts on justice, dignity, compassion and respect. Tata Vasco’s mark is there in front of the thousand-year-old olive trees in Tzintzuntzan and in the magical cities of Pátzcuaro and Santa Clara.
Points of interest
- The aqueduct, Morelia
- Casa de artesanías, Morelia
- The arcades around the main square, Morelia
- Palacio Clavijero, Morelia
- The Sistine Chapel of Michoacán, Tupátaro
- The Museo de Artes e Industrias Populares, Pátzcuaro
- Colonnaded arcades surrounding the main square, Pátzcuaro
- The Library of Gestrudis Bocanegra, Pátzcuaro
- Pátzcuaro Lake
- San Francisco monastery, Tzintzuntzan
- Huatápera, Santa Fe de la Laguna