San Miguel de Allende--this small town is a National Historic Site, known for its fine colonial architecture, colorful fiestas and international community of artists, writers and retirees. San Miguel has many restaurants, galleries and shops. The selection of furniture, pottery, jewelry and folk arts and crafts is excellent.
Panoramic view of San Miguel
Historic center of San Miguel
Houses on the hills overlooking the city
Pink limestone church in the historical center of the city
Inside the church
The music and art school courtyard
Local indians selling their wares
One of the many beautiful hand carved doors
One of the many Moorish domes on a church
The dining courtyard of the San Francisco Hotel
Atotonilco--The 18th century sanctuary dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth is important to the fight for Mexican Independence. On September 16, 1810, insurgents took the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe from the church using it as their flag. Today, Atontonico is filled with life between four or five times a year. There is a strong tradition: the eight day spiritual retreats or exercises that are carried out in the facilities of the old convent.
The main street
Front entrance of the church
Hand carved alter
Delores Hilalgo-- Known in Mexico as The Cradle of National Independence and designated a national historic monument, Dolores Hidalgo lies in the valley of the Rio Laja. Just before midnight on September 15, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo called together his parishioners and gave a speech announcing Mexican Independence that ignited the 11-year war to achieve it. Today, the city is famous for the production of majolica-style ceramics and tiles.
Unfired hand painted pottery
Each piece is hand painted by an artisan
The finished product
Guanajuato--A beautifully perserved colonial city designated a World Heritage Site. Guanajuato means "place of frogs" and silver is its reason for being. The La Valenciana Mine alone supplied more than half of all the silver received by the Spanish monarchs. Diego Rivera, the famous muralist, was born in Guanajato and lived there until he was nine years old. His family was forced to flee to Mexico City because of his grandfathers communist preachings.
Houses hug the canyon's different levels, with the foundation of one house sitting at the rooftop level of the one below.
Historic center of the city
One of the many churches in the city and the theater beyond
One of many twisting streets
The church of San Cayetano dates from 1788 and was constructed by the Don Antonio de Obregon Alconer family, wealthy owners of the La Valenciana Mine
The interior is adorned with a soaring gilt and 22 karat gold-leaf ornately carved wall behind the main alter, which includes many life-size statues of saints and biblical figures.
Another view of the church
The church has a pink-stone facade, with a profusion of delicate carvingsand is a fine example of the florid architectural style.
Tzintzuntzan--This small town has two sixteenth century churches, equally ancient olive trees, a craft market specializing in straw goods and ornaments, plus an archaeological site which was the capital of the Tarascan empire.
The city of Tzintzuntzan with Lake Patzuaro in the background viewed from the archaeological Tarascan ruins
Life sized wood carvings
The main street
Straw Christmas ornaments
Tarascan ruins dating from the 14th century
The oldest olive trees in Mexico planted by the Spanish
Patzcuaro--The town is centered on two plazas and has dozens of hotels, restaurants and gift shops. It is situated to the south of Patzcuaro Lake.
Previously a mansion and now the Posada San Rafael Hotel Hot water was available for four hours in the morning and four hours at night heated by wood
The largest square named after Vasco de Quiroga, the first Bishop of Michoacan
The library is housed in the former sixteenth century San Agustin church. The mural painted in 1942 by Juan O'Gorman tells, in graphic detail, the history of Patzcuaro
Basilica "Nuestra Senora de la Salud." Construction started in the sixteenth century and was meant to become the Cathedral of Michoacan but the plan was considered too grandiose and was suspended
All buildings are painted white and red and all signs are painted black with the first letter in red
House of Eleven Patios, a former eighteenth century convent now houses weaving and craft shops
Outdoor food stall
Santa Clara--Copper working town thirty minutes south of Patzcuaro
Heating copper before beating and shaping items
Copper items and hand painted furniture from the nearby town of Erongaricuaro
Copper bathtubs. The cost is $13,000 pesos or approximately $1,300 US
The main shopping street of Santa Clara
Hand carved wooden masks
Zirahuen Lake--One of the prettiest small lakes in the country. According to local legend, the lake resulted from the tears of a beautiful young Tarascan princess, Zirahuen, who had lost her loved one.
Some of the many cottages for rent
The small village of Zirahuen
View across the lake
Home made candies for sale
Morelia--The state capitol of Michoacan. It is a large, bustling city with many historic buildings including Mexico's tallest cathedral, a fine zoo, and modern convention facilities in a park which also boasts the state library, planetarium and orchid house.
Inside the cathedral
One of the many historic buildings on the main street
State legislative office. The upper floor has a mural of Mexico's history
Courtyard of the conseratory
"Washing machines" in a convent, later turned into a girl's school
Church with raised decoration made of plaster and hand painted