Callejon del Romance Alley
Photo Credit: Michoacan State Tourism Promotion Board
Originally known as Valladolid when settled in 1541 per instructions of Don Antonio de Mendoza - First Viceroy of New Spain in honor of his birthplace in Spain, Morelia serves as the Capital of the state of Michoacan. Its street layout with parks and squares served as the model grid for many subsequent settlements in Mexico. After Independence from Spain, the city's name was changed to Morelia in honor of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, one of the foremost heroes of Mexico's Independence Movement. An Eternal Flame burns in his memory at the Museo Casa Natal de Morelos where he was born in 1765.
Throughout the Colonial Era, Morelia played an important role in the growth of this lovely area. Fine examples of the different architectural styles used during the Epoca Colonial in Mexico - Barroco, Churrigueresque and Platero are found throughout the city. These include Palacio Clavijero, Church of Saint Augustine and the Palacio de Gobierno among many others.
Fine examples of local and regional arts and crafts are found in many shops around the city and the Mercado Publico. Gourmands and wanna-bes will enjoy traditional regional fare that includes local deserts such as Morelianas, Cocadas and Ates. Around Christmastime, Bu˝uelos - thin crispy flat pastries laced with powdered sugar are very popular. Vying for popularity at all times of the year is the Churro-man who produces donut-like pastries from his cart.
UNESCO bestowed upon Morelia the title of World Heritage Artistic Site in 1991.