Arches of Morelia’s Carlos Sanchez

Morelia, on The Night Moreliana is calling me

By: Carlos Dragonné
Accompanied by Elsie Mendez

It’s midnight. The night moreliana is calling me… Sitting in front of a small table, I observe, through the open door of the balcony of the room, the Cathedral of Morelia illuminated in all its splendour. The pink stone and baroque style stand as an imposing witness of the evolution of a diary of a city struggling to show Mexico and the world that there is much more about her than what the media of mass communication have become widespread in the last few months and that has affected the tourist image of a city that, since 1991, it was declared by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity. From the balcony I observe the stillness of the street and I count this day in the Michoacán would invite us to re-discover its corners, its people, its flavours and, above all, the heartbeat of a state with history enough to open your eyes and listen intently to the echo of their legends.

Michoacan welcomes us from the road, with a wonderful view of the Lake of Cuitzeo, a village to which we turn as the first stage of this tour, and since 2006 it is named by the ministry of Tourism as a Magical Town due to its colonial architecture and the unique landscapes which offers us its dream location as the place is surrounded by the second largest lake in the country. Cuitzeo –which means “Place of Jars or Pots” in the Purepecha language– receives us with the majesty of the Convent of Santa María Magdalena, a former convent of augustinian built in the SIXTEENTH century, and which, not only represents the progress of the Missions Convent of Michoacán, but which is intimately linked to the nearly 460 years of history of this place since the beginning of its construction is also the foundation of Cuitzeo.

Walking through the gardens is only a preamble of what awaits us inside of this building of the Isabelline Gothic style, built with quarry. The level of conservation of the place is impressive and allows us to observe and enjoy the frescoes on the walls, although not in all its splendor by the natural passage of time, yes evitándonos sense –as in many other places like this– what ever was in the strokes. On the top floor waiting for us a piece of priceless the spirit of the place: a long corridor with heavy doors of wood interspersed every 3 meters and that, when they cross the threshold, we show that, ever, were the cells where the augustinian missionaries lived. Despite what you may think, each cell has a particularity that is different, whether it be a decorated on the walls, a window that gives a zip to the light with which, easily, we can imagine a religious contemplation of the beautiful landscape, night to night, as a witness for one another, cared for the sleep and the nocturnal rites of the inhabitants of the convent.

Convent of Santa Magdalena de Cuitzeo

Any trip through the past might be satisfied with what we have discovered in this monumental vestige of the culture viceregal. However, after crossing the door that awaits at the end of the aisle, we can see the copper pipes from an old organ that contemplates, from its privileged position, the church that appears before our eyes. It is inevitable to materialize the ghosts of countless settlers who, from their indigenous origins, were getting into the evangelical culture of New Spain in the midst of those traditional benches long wooden. The echo of our words rings out in the place, and, attempting to give a sense of realism to our imagination, we read aloud the beginning of the Hymn written in Latin on the walls of the place: Tantum Ergo Sanctorum… to Describe the feeling of timelessness that connects us with the history is like wanting to describe in a picture the aroma of a dish; the answer always ends up being “you Should have been there”.

We left the Convent, and, walking among the streets of the village is discovered at a glance the effort of its inhabitants to keep as authentic as possible to the stage. Except for the cars and trucks that are circulating through the streets, one could swear that, at any time, a regiment of men will come riding to the main square.

In the midst of a silence imposed by the need to assimilate what has been seen and, above all, the imagined, we take the road heading to Morelia, the capital of the state, and, without doubt, one of the cities viceroyal more beautiful than Mexico. Mixture of a multitude of traditions, pre-hispanic, even today, are still valid, Morelia welcomes us with a sunset in which the clouds threatening decided to accelerate his step, and, at least for today, to spare us the rain that seemed imminent.

Cathedral and Historic Centre Michoacan

Already staying at the Boutique Hotel Los Juaninos, we opened for the first time the door to the balcony and observe the movement of the people in front of the Cathedral. There was something special in the scene and, trying to figure out if they were the children running among the fountains, helium balloons walking from side to side of the square, the countless couples that walked at that speed particular that it is only done in the contemplation of the romance, or the simple view of the Cathedral, even with natural light, the clarity of the trick became clear… The magic was the set of all these small individual moments accompanied, as if it were a choreography, by the harmony of the sounds of the laughs, the talks, and, above all, to the amazement of those who contemplate this scene.

Our dinner at Los Mirasoles, a restaurant owned by the family Figueroa and standard of the cuisine michoacana, was the next step of this adventure and which will tell you in detail because the experience far exceeded any expectations that we had of her.

Los Mirasoles, A Restaurant In Morelia Michoacan

Already back in the room, satisfied in body and spirit with the first night in this capital city, the cradle of historical moments and legendary in the creation of what is today our Mexico, I turn on the computer and the blinking cursor of the word processor flashes eager, curious, expectant. It’s midnight. The night moreliana is calling me…

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