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Morelia is a city and municipality in the north central part of the state of Michoacán in central Mexico. The city is in the Guayangareo Valley and is the capital and largest city of the state. The main pre-Hispanic cultures here were the Purépecha and the Matlatzinca, but no major cities were founded in the valley during this time. The Spanish took control of the area in the 1520s. The Spanish under Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza founded a settlement here in 1541 with the name of Valladolid, which became rival to the nearby city of Pátzcuaro for dominance in Michoacán. In 1580, this rivalry ended in Valladolid’s favor and it became the capital of the colonial province. After the Mexican War of Independence, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of José María Morelos, who hailed from the city. In 1991, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved colonial buildings and layout of the historic center.HistoryHuman settlements in the Guayangareo Valley in which Morelia is located have been dated back as far as the 7th century. Artifacts found here have shown Teotihuacán culture influence on early cultures in this area. In the 12th century, the Purépecha arrived in the valley. They dominated it politically for the rest of the pre-Hispanic period but did not build any major settlements here. Between the 12th and the 15th century, Matlatzincas moved into the area with permission of the Purépechas, who were based around nearby Pátzcuaro Lake. The main Matlatzinca settlement was where Júarez Plaza in the city is today.Add Morelia and other destinations in Mexico to your travel plans using our Mexico holiday planning website.
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Top Morelia tours
$130 BOOK WITH VIATOR Monarch Butterfly Tour (Departing from Morelia) Monarch Butterfly Tour (Departing from Morelia)
Duration: 9 to 10 hours
$400 BOOK WITH VIATOR 3-Day Private Guided Tour of Monarch Butterflies in Michoacan 3-Day Private Guided Tour of Monarch Butterflies in Michoacan
Duration: 3 days
$60 BOOK WITH VIATOR Pueblos Magicos Tour | Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre & Patzcuaro Pueblos Magicos Tour | Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre & Patzcuaro
Duration: 8 to 9 hours
$78 BOOK WITH VIATOR Michoacan Archaeological Tour. Michoacan Archaeological Tour.
Duration: 9 hours
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Places to visit with Morelia
Mexico CityTrip planner Best for: World heritage site, Specialty Museum, Natural History Museum San Miguel de AllendeTrip planner Best for: Architectural Building, Antique Store, Spa San Juan TeotihuacanTrip planner Best for: Ruin, Historic Walking Area, Nature / Park PueblaTrip planner Best for: Church, Zoo, Specialty Museum Ciudad VallesTrip planner Best for: River Rafting / Tubing, Water Sport, Outdoor Activity
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