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Cheap flights to Paris from Uruapan

Uruapan is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It is located at the western edge of the Purépecha highlands, just to the east of the Tierra Caliente Region. Since the colonial period, it has been an important city economically due its location. The city was conquered by the Spanish in 1522, when the last Purépecha ruler fled the Pátzcuaro area to here. The modern city was laid out in 1534 by Friar Juan de San Miguel. It played an important role in the War of Independence, and was the capital of Michoacán during the French Intervention. Today it is the center of Mexico’s avocado growing region, with most of the crop distributed from here nationally and internationally.

With a population of over 264,000. The city is the second most populous and the second in economic importance in the state of Michoacán. The city is located at the western edge of the Purépecha highlands of the state at 1,620 meters above sea level.

The city’s center has colonial architecture which contain Plateresque and Moorish elements. There are six historic neighborhoods of the city: San Miguel, San Pedro, San Francisco, Santa Maria Magdalena, San Juan Bautista and Santo Santiago, all of which have colonial-era chapels in their centers. Each of these neighborhoods have their own festival: San José on March 19, El Vergel on the third Friday in June, San Juan Quemado on June 24, San Pedro on June 29, La Magdalena on July 22, Santo Santiago on July 25, San Miguel on September 29, San Francisco de Asis on October 4. The patron saints’ days of these neighborhoods are celebrated with colorful dances such as Los Negritos.

The center of the city is marked by the very large and very long Plaza de Martires de Uruapan. Facing this plaza are two commercial portals as well as some of the city’s most important landmarks. On the north side, there is the La Huatápera Museum, officially called the Museo de los Cuatro Pueblos Indios. Huatápera is a Purépecha word, meaning “meeting place,” and according to tradition, it was built over a pre Hispanic platform, obtaining its social importance from this. Originally the site was a hospital called Hospital Real de la Purísima Concepción established by Juan de San Miguel in 1533, the first of its kind in the Americas. It functioned not only to heal the sick but also as a center for evangelism and to organize workers by trade.It has a chapel called Santo Entierro, with fine stonework in cantera in Plateresque style. Above the chapel’s arch, there is a niche which contains a sculpture of either Francis of Assisi or Juan de San Miguel flanked by the coats of arms of the Franciscans and the Spanish crown. The interior is restored and contains images of angels playing musical instruments and important people from the history of the Catholic Church. The rest of the complex shows Moorish influence and houses a collection of handcrafts from the various indigenous communities of the state. Just to the east of Huatápera is the Immaculate Concepción church, which was built in the late 20th century. It has a cantera portal finished in the 1970s but no cupola nor bell tower.

The Casa de Cultura (Cultural Center) is located on the western side of Huatápera. It was built in 1992 over what was the Franciscan monastery established by Juan de San Miguel. The original church of this monastery is now the parish church for the city. Built in 1533, it maintains its 16th century Plateresque portal, and the interior of the church has a crucifix that dates from the 18th century. The paintings on the triangular spaces just under the cupola represent salvation and the miracle of the Mass, done by Mohamed Socidel.

Behind this line of monuments is a market called the Mercado de Antojitos, whose stalls are dedicated to the sale of prepared traditional foods such as carnitas, barbacoas, quesadillas and the like.

The western side of the city is home to the Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park, the second most-visited national park in Mexico. Despite being almost completely surrounded by the city, the park contains trees hundreds of years old, springs, streams, canals and walking paths. The park focuses on the conservation of the ravine which forms the headwaters of the Cupatitzio River, which is fed by various springs and streams starting with the “Rodilla del Diablo” (Devil’s Knee) . According to local myth, Juan de San Miguel forced the Devil to bow before the Cross, with the Devil’s knee making an indentation in the rock from which the first spring emerges. The land was private until the 1930s when the federal government bought it to create the park. The ravine has various waterfalls such as La Yerbabuena and El Golgota, bridges and fountains that take advantage of natural water supply. There is also a mural called Erédira by local artist Manuel Pérez Coronado, but it is almost completely deteriorated.

The San Pedro Factory is a still-operational textile factory built in the late 19th century, when the city was at its industrial peak. Construction of the mill began in 1886, originally to work with cotton but later expanded to other fibers, such as linen and silk. The factory is still in operation but not to the same capacity as in the past. The current owners maintain the more handcrafted feel of the products making bedspreads, tablecloths, napkins and more. Part of the complex is now used for cultural and other events.

The city is home to the narrowest house in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Located at 50-C Carrillo Puerto, it measures 1.40 by 7.70 meters.

The Palm Sunday Handcraft Market is held during Holy Week with the most important day being Palm Sunday, after which it is named. It covered the city large main square and attracts over a thousand artisans who sell. In addition to traditional observances for Day of the Dead, the city has sponsored the Festival de Velas on the same days, where candles are arranged and lit to form figures at the Martires de Uruapan and Morelos plazas as well as on adjoining streets. There an Avocado Festival from mid November to mid December which consists of exhibitions and cultural events.

The city’s cuisine is influenced not only by the various ethnic groups in the area but also migration from other parts of Michoacan. Typical dishes include corundas, churipo (a beef and vegetable stew), mutton barbacoa, carnitas, quesadillas with squash flowers, flour tamales, various flavors of sweet and spicy atole, hot chocolate, uchepos, sweet potatoes and plantains cooked in various ways and more.

The city of the Uruapan is the seat of a municipality and serves as the local government for surrounding communities that extend over 954.17km2. Outside of the Uruapan proper, the main communities are Capacuaro, Angahuan, San, Caltzontzin, Jucutacato, Santa, Corupo and Nuevo, all of which are dedicated to agriculture and/or forestry. The municipality borders those of Charapan, Paracho, Nahuatzen, Tingambato, Ziracuaretiro, Taretan, Gabriel Zamora, Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Peribán and Los Reyes. The municipal government consists of a municipal president, a syndic, and 12 representatives called regidors.

The municipality has a population of over 315,000, of which 18,020 speak an indigenous language, mostly Purépecha. Traditional music is mostly influenced by the Purépecha culture with pirecuas and sons, as well as those played by wind instruments.

The El Sabino Zoocriadero is home to various exotic species. It is 17 km outside the city in an area that has a warmer climate. Its main attraction is its crocodiles but it also has lions, badgers, deer, ostriches and turtles.

 

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