11th September 2011

Morelia [31], capital of Michoacán state, was founded in 1541. Originally Valladolid, it was renamed after the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821). Buildings in the historic centre are all of an attractive light brown stone, the magnificent cathedral being the centre piece. Morelia is a university town and the faculties now occupy many of the former monasteries. Arched arcades surround the large Plaza de Armas – “The entire plaza (of all Hispanic-American cities) should have portals because they offer much comfort …” ordered King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598).


It was impossible to pass through the Mercado de Dulces (sweets market) without buying something. Also delicious is a local fruit salad, gaspacho, which is served with chilli, lime juice and salt. Chamorro, another culinary specialty, is slow cooked pork shank in a rich black sauce of dried chillies with pulque (a type of beer made from cactus) – falling-off-the-bone, melt-in-the-mouth delicious.


Leafy parks, sprouting fountains, and even a 253 arch aqueduct make the city a great place for strolling. We were delighted to encounter a performance of La Danza de Los Viejos (The Dance of the Old Men) in the main Plaza. In reality, the “Old Men” are young boys in costume. Here is a short video.


Morelias magnificent Cathedral took 100 years to complete (1640-1744)

Arcades around the Plaza de Armas

One of many colonial courtyards

San Agustin

Templo de las Rosas

Gaspacho - mango and pineapple with lime juice, chilli and salt - great

Former Jesuit Church ...

... now the University Library contains 1000s of Agustin & Franciscan volumes

Mercado de Dulce (Sweets Market)

Some of the delicious local sweets

Old men play chess in a leafy Plaza

Las Tarascas Fountain with indigenous women holding a basket of fruit

40 centimetre long quesadilla

Aqueduct, built 1785, bought water to Morelia

Morelia is a city of fountains

Romance alley

Temple of the Nuns

Chamorro - pork shank with a rich chilli sauce - rice in the colours of Mexico

Fountain in the courtyard of Calvijero Palace (1660)

Templo del Carmen

Templo de San José

Table and chairs carved and painted by local artisans

Lizards on a restaurant wall

Danza de los Viejos (Dance of the Old Men) in the Plaza de Armas