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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzintzuntzan

Quoted from Wikipedia

"P'urhepecha capital

The city was founded in the 13th century by the indigenous P'urhépecha people, and in the 13th century it became the capital of the Tarascan state replacing nearby Ihuatzio. Its name means "Place of the Hummingbirds" in the P'urhé language.

The Pre-Columbian city of Tzintzuntzan covered an area of about 7 km². The site, which stands on a hillside above the modern town, has the remains of many step pyramids of a design typically used by the P'urépecha in their ritual buildings, known locally as yácatas (by extension, the present-day archaeological site is also known as "Las Yácatas"). The Tzintzuntzan yácatas are of several different shapes, some rectangular, some oval or circular, and others in the distinctive Tarascan "T" shape. The population of the ancient city is estimated to have peaked at somewhere between 25,000 to 35,000 people. [1]

The population of the entire Lake Pátzcuaro basin was between 60,000 to 100,000, spread among 91 settlements of which Tzintzuntzan was the largest.[2]

Tzintzuntzan was still the P'urhépecha capital when the Spaniards arrived in 1522. First contact, led by Nuño de Guzmán arrived in 1529, ChieftainTangaxuan II was burned alive and the city largely dismantled to provide stones for Roman Catholic temples and civic buildings, most notably the large 16th century Franciscan Monastery of Santa Ana. Following the disgrace and recall of Nuño de Guzmán, Vasco de Quiroga was sent to the region, and Tzintzuntzán served as the headquarters of Spanish power in the area until the bishopric was relocated to Pátzcuaro in 1540.

 

[edit]Present-day municipality

The modern town of Tzintzuntzan is known for the basketry and weaving produced there. The Monastery of Santa Ana is also still standing. It is home to several allegedly miraculous relics and icons and is reputed to have growing on its grounds what were the first olive trees to be planted in America.

Tzintzuntzan municipality covers a total of 165 km². In addition to the municipal seat, the other main settlements are Ihuatzio, Cucuchuchu, and Los Corrales. In 1995, the municipality's total population numbered some 12,500, of whom 2550 spoke a Native American language (principally Purépechaand Ixcatec)."

 

Beautiful statuary in the town

Museum with artifacts from the site

Layout of what the pyramids would have looked like when they were all intact

 

Monastery of Santa Ana is also still standing. It is home to several allegedly miraculous relics and icons and is reputed to have growing on its grounds what were the first olive trees to be planted in America.

The painting below was brought over and given to the church in 1489

That stop took us about 2 hours and then we were on our way to Lake Chapala. there was some wonderful scenery along the way

The Lake Chapala area is well known for growing strawberries and raspberries

We had to go through the city of Zamora on the way. Ok we missed the bypass. Oh well it was an interesting extra hour added to our trip. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamora,_Michoacán

I wish we could have had time to stop and see the cathedral. Restoration still unfinished as of Sept 2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe_Unfinished_Cathedral

Just a note that we have seen motorcycles and mopeds with up to 4 passengers. Not really safe, but effective in saving money! There were three people on this motorcycle.

Getting closer to Lake Chapala, it starts to look more and more like the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada

  Click here to continue on our trip with us.

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