The colonial city of Morelia is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and from its breathtaking architecture, it's clear to see why. Besides being the capital of the State of Michoacan – and the state's largest and most populated city, at that – it is also the seat of government institutions and the most prestigious higher education institute in the region: the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo (Michoacanan University of Saint Nicolas of Hidalgo). Like the rest of the state, Morelia has an enormous amount to offer its visitors, from the colonial spectacle of its buildings and elegant, vibrant streets, to a delicious regional cuisine. Since 2003, the Morelia International Film Festival has also been held each October and has featured renowned directors such as Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, and Guillermo del Toro among others.
All of this combines to make Morelia by far the most cultural city in Michoacan, offering its visitors a wide range of museums and art galleries, as well as cafés perfect for chatting over coffee while sharing pleasant moments. Like all cities, Morelia has stadiums, sports arenas, convention centers, colleges, restaurants and top-level hotels, as well as movie theaters and concert and entertainment venues. There are also activities for making the most of the natural wooded environment and for bringing you back to Mother Nature. Just one example is nearby Lake Patzcuaro, which lies at an elevation of 1,920 meters above sea level, and whose basin is of volcanic origin. Some natives believe Lake Patzcuaro is the place where the barrier between life and death is at its thinnest.
The Anniversary of the birth of Don Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, on September 30th, is one of the most important dates in the local calendar. It pays tribute to the man and commemorates the deeds that contributed to his becoming a national hero. Theatrical works are performed, and there are displays of Morelos's writings and photographs from his life. The celebration, unfailingly accompanied by music, fireworks and flowers, is held every year in the museums dedicated to Morelos, such as the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon House Museum and the Morelos Birthplace.