During your stay in Morelia
you must visit the
In the City
-Cathedral of Morelia,
is the most significant
religious construction within the City of Morelia
a huge colossus with its more than 70 metres of height built in
pink quarry stone, presenting a triple façade with shrines and three
interior patios festooned with impressive mural paintings.
The Duke of Albuquerque, appointed Viceroy to the territories of the New Spain (Nueva España), ordered its construction in 1660, carried out by the Italian master Vicente Barroso until his death in 1692. Only after a lapse of 52 years since their master's passing, were his disciples able to fulfil the titanic architectonical endeavour left to them.
With its notable baroque style, the Cathedral Church possesses the highest and bulkiest towers of the continent. They are identical one to another, but for the differences between their crowning crosses. The slight though purposely dissimilarity between them symbolises both the human (the stone cross) and the divine nature (the iron cross) of Jesus Christ.
Its interior is fretted with invaluable treasures, as the Cristo de la Sacristía (16th century)made with a pre-Hispanic technique based in a paste obtained from the canes of the corn; a monumental organ with 4.600 pipes, a peculiar baptismal font in a neoclassical style and a baroque pulpit more than three metres high, both made in silver in the 18th century.
It is situated at the Francisco I Avenue, Madero (no number) at the heart of the City.
-Templo de la Merced,
in the year of 1604, the
Mercedary monks Pedro de Burgos and Alonso García, erected a humble
and plain temple that with the passing of time would become the
magnificent baroque styled Church which, with its plateresque and
churrigueresque elements ornate the historical centre of Morelia
The Temple, built in 1736, has only one nave, crowned by a baroque styled dome with an octagonal drum. It has two facades, the eastern that belongs to the 18th century and the northern with a manierist style.Besides the Temple stands the La Merced Convent, whose clusters are nowadays schoolrooms.
It is located at the Francisco I Avenue. Madero and the Nigromante
Street, in the Historical Centre of Morelia
-Convent of San Francisco (the House of Handcrafts),
This is the oldest building in Morelia, or, to be sure, it is oldest
than Morelia, for its construction began in 1531, 10 years before
the foundation of the City by the Spaniards on May 18th of 1541.
This religious edifice shows a plateresque styled façade, with an exquisitely carved access archway with columns framing the door and window of the choir. In its interior stands out the stout disposition of the patio, with its stolidly built buttresses.
During the first half of the 20th century it became the seat to the worker's associations of Morelia; During the decade of the 30', the renowned artists Alfredo Zalce, Santos Balmori and Pablo O'Higgins joined efforts to paint a beautiful collective mural. Most regretfully, this piece of art became destroyed during the refurbishing works that took place in the decade of the seventies.
Since the year of 1973 thie Convent was to be addressed as La Casa de la Artesanía de Michoacán, containing a museum and an area for temporary expositions, where the best art works of the State are exhibited.
-Temple and Convent of San Agustín,
years of 1550 and 1626 the architectonical styles and lineages of
this religious compound sited to the south of the Cathedral attained
its definite configuration. Among its plateresque styled main façade
(although bearing a wholesome renaissance influence), stands out
the coat of arms of the Augustine Order (a heart traversed with
arrows), the image of Saint Augustine at the chorus' window and
a sculpture of Saint Michael the Archangel.
A huge three bodied tower (from the middle 17th century) stands at the northern side of the façade, while the one standing at the opposite side was the tallest tower until the Cathedral was built. Inside the Church, its highlighted neoclassical lines stand out along with the statue of the Virgen del Socorro, donated by the bishop of Valencia.
Beautiful fresco paintings and some canvases with representations done by connoted Augustine monks can be seen at the lateral chapel. At its side, in what used to be the cloister, stands a beautiful fountain that formerly served as baptismal font and a staircase roofed by a gothic vault.
The Temple is still used for Catholic masses, while the convent cloisters are nowadays the schoolrooms of the Nicolaita University. It is situated between the Hidalgo and the Antonio Alzate Streets. It can be visited every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Temple and music conservatory of Las Rosas, This was the first convent of the City and belonged to the Dominican Nuns of Santa Catalina de Siena (1590). In the year of 1738, the building -after being thoroughly refurbished- became the seat of a school for girls. Inside its classrooms, the little pupils received a neat musical education, which made that Pope Benedict XIV bestow the denomination of Conservatory, the first of its kind in America.
Besides the Conservatory stands the exquisite Temple of Las Rosas, with different saints portrayed at its façade. The principal of these images being the one of the founder of the Order: Saint Domingo of Guzmán.
The School of Música Sagrada (Sacred Music) was founded in the 20th
century. It is now the seat of the famous chorus of the Niños Cantores
It is located in Santiago Tapia Street, in the centre of Morelia.
-Templo de las Monjas - Temple of the Nuns,
May 13th of 1738, a time when the Convent of Las Rosas was totally
in ruins, the Dominican nuns decided to move out. The sombre "parade"
of the nuns was accompanied with the dull ringing of the bells.
This picture was immortalised in a grand canvas that can be presently
seen in the Museo Regional Michoacano.
The baroque styled Temple was erected between 1729 and 1737. Its façade, with its plateresque lines is divided in three bodies on which stand out the images of Santa Catalina de Siena and Santo Domingo de Guzmán, along with the slender and beautiful tower.
It is situated at the Francisco I. Madero Avenue.
-Temple and ex Convent of El Carmen,
between 1593 and 1619 thanks to the generous support of several
benefactors of the Carmelita's community. Its façade bores the main
coat of arms of the Order, with representations of the theological
virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, symbolised by three stars shinning
over a cross at the top of a hill.
During the historical period of the Reforma (19th century), all religious were thrown out from their cloisters. After this, the former rooms of the priests were used as prison, cemetery, seat of the ecclesiastic town hall, parking lot for garbage trucks, bus station, stores, hotel and at last, Casa de la Cultura, for which it was refurbished between 1974 and 1976.
In the present days the Convent contains several artistic workshops, exhibition halls and the famed Museum of the Masks (Museo de la Máscara), where two great collections display pieces from 20 Mexican States. The masks are made of different materials and with diverse techniques, and are mostly part of the outfits used on popular dances.
It is situated in the Historical Centre of Morelia