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Morelia(mōrā`lyä), city (1990 pop. 489,756), capital of Michoacán state, W Mexico. It is the commercial and processing center of an irrigated agricultural and cattle-raising area. Founded as Valladolid in 1541 by Antonio de Mendoza, Morelia is built on a rocky hill and is surrounded by a fertile valley at the western edge of the central plateau. High peaks border the valley on three sides. The climate is warm and healthful. The city is supplied with water by an aqueduct dating from the colonial period. The most imposing Spanish structure is the cathedral, begun in 1640; colonial architecture, some modern buildings, and shaded plazas give the city a pleasant atmosphere. The Colegio de San Nicolás, founded (1540) in Pátzcuaro and transferred in 1580 to Morelia, is the oldest institution of higher learning in Mexico. Morelia was the birthplace of Agustín de IturbideIturbide, Agustín de
, 1783–1824, Mexican revolutionist, emperor of Mexico (1822–23). An officer in the royalist army, he was sympathetic to independence but took no part in the separatist movement led by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, and in fact helped to
..... Click the link for more information. and of the patriot José María Morelos y PavónMorelos y Pavón, José María
, 1765–1815, Mexican leader in the revolution against Spain, a national hero. He was, like Hidalgo y Costilla, a liberal priest.
..... Click the link for more information. , for whom it was renamed in 1828.
a city in central Mexico and the administrative center of the state of Michoacán. Population, 210,000 (1970). It is linked with Mexico City by rail and the Pan American Highway. The chief industries are food processing, woodworking, textiles, and the production of leather footwear. Morelia is the site of a university, a museum of local lore, and archaeological and ethnographic museums. Founded in 1541, the city has note-worthy buildings dating from the 16th to the 18th century.