Patzcuaro is a mere 20 years away from celebrating its 500th anniversary as a City of Michoacan.
|480 Anniversary of the founding of Patzcuaro|
The exact date of the birth of Patzcuaro is not known, but the year is generally accepted as being 1324. The original settlers were the Chichimecas.
At that time, our humble Patzcuaro was Purépecha’s “Door of Heaven,” where the gods ascended to and descended from their Paradise.
At that time, Lake Pátzcuaro and the surrounding areas were inhabited by three indigenous groups – Isleños, Coringuaro, and Chichimecas – who were constantly at odds with each other. But they shared one chiefton, Iré-Ticáteme, and they also shared the main god Curicaveri and goddess Cuerápparri.The Purépecha Empire began in Patzcuaro with Tariácuri, the first chiefton to whom they gave the title Calzontzín – a monarch – and Patzcuaro became the first true capital of the Purépechas. Tariácuri divided his kingdom between his sons, and called the regions Ihuatzio, Tzintzuntzan, and Pátzcuaro.
Patzcuaro was entrusted to Hiquigare, who didn’t produce any heirs. The seat of power thus went automatically to Tzintzuntzan, which became the new capital of the Empire. This left Patzcuaro as more a center of ceremony and recreation of the indigenous elite.In 1538, the Spanish conquest and evangelization was already underway in Tzintzuntzan – the ancient capital of the Purépecha Empire – and the Bishopric of Michoacan was established with Don Vasco de Quiroga in charge. In his capacity, he moved the seat of the Bishopric to Pátzcuaro.
|Mural of Vasco de Quiroga in Patzcuaro|
In 1540 Don Vasco de Quiroga brought together various indigenous and Spanish leaders in Patzcuaro to lend greater legitimacy to the effort.
|Don Vasco de Quiroga first Bishop of Michoacán.|
With that transference, Patzcuaro was given the title of “City of Michoacan” and, in 1553, and its famous coat of arms.And Don Vasco de Quiroga began the construction of his cathedral on the very site where once stood the great indigenous temple of the goddess Cueráppari. The ambitious project was to be the most impressive in the Americas, with five naves. But it was rejected by Don Vasco de Quiroga’s Spanish superiors, who approved a building of only one nave. That resultant building is none other than our beloved Basílica of Our Lady of Health in Patzcuaro.
|Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Pátzcuaro|
Don Vasco de Quiroga also designed several hospices and schools, including the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo, which was to become our Museum of Arts and Popular Industries of Patzcuaro
|Museum of Arts and Popular Industries of Patzcuaro|
|Statue of Don Vasco de Quiroga in Patzcuaro|
Come help us celebrate our anniversary every September 28, normally there is a week full of cultural activities, come and enjoy them!
*Text and pictures property of Hotel Mansion Iturbe.
We invite you to check more articles in our blog, you will find information that we hope will be helpful for your next trip to Patzcuaro. Here are some post that we recommend you:
La Relación de Michoacán – or “Chronicle of Michoacán” – is an exhaustive literary work about the Purépecha people and their history.
Mexican Traditions: The Moors of Tejaro in Pátzcuaro
Day of the Dead in Patzcuaro