312km (193 miles) NW of Mexico City; 365km (226 miles) SE of Guadalajara

The first viceroy of Mexico ordered the founding of the city in 1541 under the name Valladolid. After independence, that name was changed to Morelia to honor the revolutionary hero José María Morelos, who was born here.

Morelia was intended as a bastion of Spanish culture for the region's large population of Indians. The adjective people most frequently use to describe Morelia is aristocratic. Indeed, the city's greatest appeal lies in its grand colonial architecture.