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  Morelia Directory and City Guide

The cathedral of Morelia
The cathedral of Morelia
Morelia (mo-REH-lia), a city of about 1 million, rests on a gentle sloping hill overlooking the Valley of Guayangero and is another of Mexico's colonial gems. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Artistic sight. At an elevation of 6,399 feet above sea level, Morelia's climate provides spring-like days throughout the year. The city and surrounding state of Michoacan offer a refreshing addition to any colonial city tour itinerary.

Morelia is the capital of Michoacan, a land of immense beauty. Michoacan is the colonial Spaniards translation of the Nahautl word, Mechuacan which means "place of land of the fisherman".

Greener and more rustic than the neighboring state of Guanajuato, Michoacan's countryside is a vast expanse of rolling hills, deep lakes, winding rivers and green valleys.
Traditional fishing on Lake Patzcuaro
Traditional fishing on Lake Patzcuaro
Much of the state is dominated by a volcanic mountain range, the Cordillera Neovolcanica. Volcanic activity and the state's latitude position creates a setting not unlike Hawaii, especially near the coast. Rich soil supports lush jungle-like vegetation, with spectacular mountain landscape, and velveteen pasture lands.
The state has few large cities, but rather a collection of small villages and towns that have changed little since the 1800's. It's pace is leisurely, its people friendly, and its Spanish colonial and indigenous heritage rich.

Morelia is one of Mexico's most endearing cities - wonderfully restful and clean with wide boulevards, lovely squares, and shady parks. Architecturally, the city is of the 17th and 18th century Spanish colonial style. Despite some unattractive urban sprawl, Morelia proudly displays numerous masterfully restored mansions, churches, and civic buildings.. Most are oft pink-colored stone with lacy, delicate facades. The city's layout is a classic grid design, with a central square. Shopping, Museums, and historic attractions are within a few blocks of the square.
Aside from its historical attractions, Morelia is also the educational, cultural and political center of the state. Morelia makes an excellent choice for foreigners studying Spanish and Mexican culture. It is also the home for dozens of writers, artists, philosophers, poets, and a community of retired Americans and Canadians.

Morelia also boasts a fine convention center (capacity 1,200), coupled with a modern planetarium and greenhouse with over 4,500 species of plants. Within a couple hours drive from the city, the state's deep indigenous roots come alive in villages that make excellent day trips from Morelia such as Patzcuaro, Uruapan, and Santa Clara del Cobre.

Morelia's 17th century aqueduct
Morelia's 17th century aqueduct

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