The state capital is located approximately 63 km. from Pátzcuaro in a valley known centuries ago as “Guayangareo”. In Purhépecha that means “flattened hill”. It was founded in the colonial epoch with the name of “Valladolid”.
After failed attempts by the patzcuarenses to avoid it, at the end of 1575 the then viceroy Martín Enríquez de Almanza arranged the transfer to Morelia of the body of justice and the town hall of Michoacán. Consequently, also moved were the Episcopal see, the main educational and religious institutions, and many of its inhabitants, ending Pátzcuaro’s reign -for good or for bad- as capital of the province.
Later, in 1828, Valladolid changed its name to “Morelia”, in honor of the insurgent general José María Morelos y Pavón, who was born there.
Ironically, Morelia also was cradle of one of the two failed emperors that México has had: don Agustín de Iturbide. Morelia itself has an architectural value of the first order, with splendid and well-preserved colonial edifices from several epochs. Although too numerous to list here, it is enough simply to go to the center of the city and lose oneself among its unique architectural jewels of pink stone, each with a story to tell. Even though bustling and noisy, Morelia offers all the services and comforts of a modern city.