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On the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro is located this beautiful Michoacan Magic Town, where indigenous customs, colonial architecture and exuberant natural surroundings coexist with a singular balance. Tzintzuntzan is his name, and means "place of hummingbirds" in Purépecha language.
Capital of the Purépecha empire since the twelfth century of our era, it became so militarily powerful that it could never be subdued by the expansionist Aztec empire. The vestiges of this glorious past can still be admired in the Archaeological Zone of Tzintzuntzan. There you can appreciate the emblematic yácatas, which are rectangular and circular pyramids.
The Archaeological Zone is divided into three groups: the Great Platform, the Barrio de San Pablo and the Barrio de Santa Ana. In addition, it has all the necessary information and essential services to make your visit more pleasant.
In 1529, the undefeated Purepecha finally faced an unsuspected enemy: although he was not as numerous as his eternal rivals Tenochtitlan, he carried iron weapons and pack animals never before seen on this side of the world.
Thus, in 1533, the Basque priest of Quiroga came to this region as a visitor and peacemaker. Seeing the abuses that the colonizers committed against the former owners of these lands, decided to settle in Michoacán and establish the Diocese of Michoacán precisely in Tzintzuntzan.
A temple that is essential to know is that of San Francisco, which was built as a hermitage between 1530 and 1540, and finished as a temple around 1600 by Fray Pedro de Pila.
A few steps you can admire the Open Chapel of San Camilo. It dates from the sixteenth century and in its time served to gather and evangelize the indigenous people of the area. Tradition says that this was where Vasco de Quiroga officiated his first Mass as bishop of Michoacán.
Due to its proximity to the Pátzcuaro Lake, you can taste delicious typical dishes, such as white fish and charales with chile and lemon. It is almost a tradition to close the meal with a pasta snow as a dessert.
As for crafts, you can find Christmas decorations made with wheat straw called "panikua"; furniture made with "chuspata" (a rush that grows on the lakeshore), as well as mud pottery and a variety of beautiful and colorful textiles.
What to Visit?
- Saint Francis Temple Built between 1530 and 1540, but it was completely finished until the early seventeenth century under the supervision of Friar Pedro de Pila.
- Yacatas Archaeological Site characterized especially for its five rectangular buildings approximately 12 meters high.
- Temple of Our Lady of Solitude Built in the seventeenth century, this temple holds a venerated image among the locals and which is known as "Our Lord of the Holy Burial."
- La Pacanda Island Beautiful Island located in the Patzcuaro Lake and where it is possible to take a ride in bicycle to admire its buildings and culture.
What to do?
- Festivity of Our Lord of Rescue It takes place on February 1st each year, and it consists of popular music and dances, such as the famous Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Old men.)
- Day of the Dead As in the rest of the country, it takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year, but here this national celebration reaches a surrealistic level with its cemeteries full of flowers, candles, food, and offerings to spend a day with those loved ones that have already passed away.
- White Fish Cooked in many different ways.
- Charales (Small Fish) Fried and served with hot sauce, chili and lime.
- Carnitas Pieces of pork meat cooked slowly in its own lard and also in a special broth, which makes them taste delicious!
- De pasta ice cream No worries! This delicious ice cream is not made with spaghetti, but just with milk and sugar.
What to Know?
- In Purepecha language, Tzintzuntzan means "Place of Hummingbirds."
- In the pre-Hispanic era, Tzintuzntzan was the capital of the Tarasco Kingdom, and in this city were taken many decisions that affected most of the territory of the current state of Michoacan, as well as parts of the current states of Mexico, Guanajuato, and Jalisco.
- Before the conquistador’s arrival, Patzcuaro was just a neighborhood of this capital city.
- In 1930, this Magic Town was finally recognized as a county seat.
- Ceramics and pottery
- Wooden furniture
- Carved wood
- Artisanal weaves and fabrics
Visit the photographic gallery of the Magical Town of Tzintzuntzan.Gallery
Transport yourself to the atrium of the San Francisco Temple in Tzintzuntzan.Photo 360
Learn more about Tzintzuntzan.Audiospot
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