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Patzcuaro

(4.1/5 based on 1,200+ reviews for 8 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nature, historic sites
Pátzcuaro is a large town and municipality located in the state of Michoacán. The town was founded sometime in the 1320s, at first becoming the capital of the Tarascan state and later its ceremonial center. After the Spanish took over, Vasco de Quiroga worked to make Pátzcuaro the capital of the New Spain province of Michoacán, but after his death, the capital would be moved to nearby Valladolid (today Morelia). Pátzcuaro has retained its colonial and indigenous character since then, and has been named both a "Pueblo Mágico" and one of the 100 Historic World Treasure Cities by the United Nations. Pátzcuaro and the lake region it belongs to is well known as a site for Day of the Dead celebrations.There are several possibilities as to the meaning of "Pátzcuaro." The first is from "phascuaro" which means place dyed in black, or from patatzecuaro, which means place of foundations, another is from petatzimícuaro meaning place of bullrushes, and still others state that it means happy place or seat of temples. Pátzcuaro received its coat of arms in 1553 from Charles V of Spain.HistoryThe only history available about the founding of Pátzcuaro comes from a book called Relación written by Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. It states that two chiefs by the names of Páracume and Vápeani arrived in the area, then called Tarimichundiro, with their tribe, the Chichimecas. Here they began to build their temples, called "cues" by placing four large rocks close together. No date is given for this event, but since the deaths of the two original chiefs occurred in 1360, it is widely supposed that the founding occurred around 1324.
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