Music & light night show @ the Cathedral
As I said in my previous tip, the Cathedral and other buildings in downtown are illuminated every night so you can appreciate their beauty.
However, there's a special night every week when the illumination of the Cathedral takes place at a specific time and in a different way than the rest of the week. On Saturday night, at about 8:30 PM, the main avenue running in front of the cathedral is closed so only pedestrians can access it. The cathedral is completely dark and a few screens are placed in front of it where a video about the history of the cathedral and the city of Morelia is played. The video lasts for about 20 minutes and then the real show starts (so make sure you get there at least at 8:50 to not miss any of it).
A tiny light on top of the entrance starts shining and the tunes of "Huapango" by P. Moncayo start filling the air (I don't know if it's the same song every week or they use others, but it's basically classical/symphony music). Then they start throwing fireworks and gradually turning the lights on so the facade of the cathedral gets illuminated: first the left tower, then the central part, then the right tower. By the end of the show the cathedral is fully illuminated as you can see on picture no. 2 and the air is filled with smoke because of the burnt fireworks!
The whole fireworks/music thing lasts for about 5 minutes but loads of people gather in front of the cathedral every week to see it: it's really worth it and it's becoming a "must see" for people who visit Morelia. I've seen it twice but only during my last visit was I able to make a decent picture (after many failed attempts), which I'm very proud of! Enjoy!
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Beautiful Cathedral at night...
In recent years the entire downtown area of Morelia has been embellished so their beautiful buildings can be better appreciated. The cathedral is the most impressive one, it is now beautifully illuminated at night as you can see in the pictures and every Saturday night there's a show with music and fireworks which is very nice. The main avenue (Madero) is closed for a while so only pedestrians can access the surroundings of the cathedral and admire the show. More info on my next tip.
Schedules: Open daily 9:00 to 21:00 hrs. (other sources say it closes ar 20 hrs.)
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University Public Library of Morelia
I had visited Morelia sooo many times and I had never looked at this building twice before, let alone go inside...... just discovered it during my very last trip there.
This is a very old building which looks rather like a chapel or small church from the outside, and is just next to the candy/handcraft market. The door is rather small so you can't really see what there's inside if you just walk by. But if you go in you will discover a marvelous building with really old books inside where people go to read, do their homeworks, research, etc.... I'm not sure if you can borrow books from here, I suppose you can, but of course not the really old books exhibited on the walls.... I suppose these are only part of the general "decoration" but are not available to the public. I was really amazed with the nice paintings and gorgeous furniture they have in this place, too. It's really worth to pay a visit and admire this building, since most public libraries aren't that pretty LOL.
Open Monday through Friday, free entrance.
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Benito Juarez Zoo Park
This is Mexico's most important Zoo park due to the variety of the species and the amount of animals living there.... so it's not only one of Morelia's treasures, but one of the most important homes for animals in the entire country. Another interesting info: it is home to the largest bird collection in all of Latin America! (I didn't know this myself!). They also have both domestic and foreign species: a polar bear, ostriches, giraffes, elephants, a white tiger, white lions, snakes.... Please look at the pictures, I made very few shots but the richness of the zoo is amazing. At least one of those Asian elephants has been there since I was a little kid.... 20+ years later he's still there!!!
This is one of oldest attractions in town as far as I remember, and it looks like it has been constantly improved throughout these years.... Really worth a visit, the entrance is very cheap and it's a wonderful place for the whole family. It has an artificial lake, a nice train that tours the entire park, an aquarium, a reptile area, etc.
* Mon-Fri: 10 to 17 hrs.
* Weekends and holidays: 10 to 18 hrs.
Entrance Fee: $20 (Mexican Pesos, about $1.5 USD), children half price. This is the basic ticket price, as you can also buy other tickets with "bonus services" such as the train ride and access to little boats to row in the lake, or access to the aquarium. The most expensive ticket costs about $50 MXP ($4 USD) but there's an even more expensive one for the night tour (NEW, previous reservation required)!
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Located at the intersection of the Avenida Madero and the Aqueduct is a beautiful square with gardens and a big fountain (still fed by the Aqueduct). There used to be a Chapel nearby transformed into a women prison. The name of the Square was given after Manuel Villalongin an insurgent who rescued his wife imprisoned in the jail.
An impressive construction located at the eastern end of Avenida Madero. This huge construction was built between 1785 and 1789 by Fray Antonio de San Miguel, designed to bring water into the city from hilside springs. The aqueduct consists of 253 arches and still fed the fountain of the garden of Villalongin.
Cerrada de San Agustin. Juarez Statue.
Located at the end of the pedestrian street there´s a huge statue of Benito Juarez. He is another important Mexican leader who was president of Mexico twice (1867 and 1871), and was one of the leaders who fought the French Invasion, and declared the Republica. Here´s a a brief part of his famous speech given after the triumph of the Republica "May the people and the government respect the rights of all. Between individuals, as between nations, peace means respect for the rights of others".
Casa Museo de Morelos. Morelos Bust.
A detail of the bust located in the garden of the Museum. Morelos is the Mexico´s most important leader who fought for the independence from Spain. in 1810 he stablished a new governement and abolished the slavery.
Casa Museo de Morelos.
This historical Museum is located in a house built in 1747, it was used as a royal temporal residence for the Viceroys who visited the city. This house belongs to the Morelos family and José María was born here. In 1815 he was executed in the house. Actually is also a Museum with temporary exhibitions. Outside in the garden there´s a huge bust of Morelos.
Convent of Saint Agustin.
Located next to the church and connected with it, the Convent is one of the few convents remaining from the XVI century in Mexico. Most of the cloisters of the convent are now part of the University Nicolaita.
Church of Saint Agustin. Interior.
The interior of the church is less austere than the façade, many works of art, some great neoclassical paintings and located in the main altar the sculpture of the Virgin del Socorro, donated by the archbishop of Valencia, Spain in 1565.
Church and Convent of Saint Agustin.
This complex includes the church and the convent all located in front of a beautiful walled park decorated with statues and fountains. The church was built in 1550 and dedicated to Santa María de Gracia. The façade of the church was made in Plateresque style ( a Spanish ornated style of archutecture from the 15th and 16th century).
The Cathedral was built between 1,600 and 1774 with the authorization of Viceroy Francisco Hernandez de la Cueva, constructed in pink volcanic stone, the church has two bell towers (60 meters height) and is located at Zocalo or Plaza de los Martires. The cosntruction style is a mixture of Neo-Classical and Baroque architecture.
Touring around the Zoo!!
This is also a very old picture... and even though this particular train has been discontinued -- as the model isn't very fashion anymore, LOL --, there is still a train running around the zoo. It's one of the most popular attractions, you don't get to see the animals very well but the ride among the cages and natural scenarios is fun! You can also appreciate the artificial lake located on one of the extremes of the zoo park, where you can row/pedal a boat as an additional attraction as well.
- Family Travel
A typical ride @ the Zoo....
This picture was taken like a century ago, LOL.... It was my brother and I when we were reaaally young and liked this kind of rides. They were very typical and popular for kids.
Nowadays I think they don't have these rides available anymore, I think there are pony rides but that's it... so this is just for you to see what the Morelia Zoo looked like many years ago!
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