Monday, February 13, 2006

Lake Zirahuen - Michoacan

Lake Zirahuen in Michoacan Mexico, is an enchanting lake just 20 kilometers from the city of Patzcuaro along the highway toward Uruapan. You can also access the lake from Santa Clara del Cobre over a cobblestone road. The name Zirahuen means "Place of Smoke", maybe from the mountain mist over the lake.

The clear blue water of the lake, one of the cleanest in Mexico, makes this a real visual pleasure. There is still very little development on the shores of this beautiful lake. A few resorts and very small towns line the north shore and the town of Zirahuen is on the south. You'll see wooden "trojes"(Purepecha-style cabin) in town and along the way.

From the dock in downtown Zirahuen you can take one of two boats on an around the lake tour. On the cruise the local highschool kids will sing a few songs and another youngster will tell everyone the history of the lake (in Spanish). There is a snack bar on the boat for a few things and soft drinks and beer.

The back road to Lake Zirahuen from Santa Clara del Cobre

First view of the lake - maybe reason for "Place of Smoke" name

Tour ferries on the downtown dock

Some of the unpopulated shoreline

Downtown Zirahuen after a rain

A bunch more Zirahuen Pictures

Tzintzuntzan and the Arts and Crafts Market

The arts and crafts market in the center of town is the main attraction in Tzintzuntzan (seen-soon-sahn) but there is also the very interesting grounds of the monastery and the ruins on the hill behind called Yacatas (Yácatas).

The construction of the large Franciscan monastery of Santa Ana began in 1526. They saved a great deal of time and labor by tearing down much of the Purépecha temples. After 100 years as a monastery it was converted to a school until 1964. Now it's open to public at no charge. The olive trees on the grounds are said to be the oldest in North America.

Arts and crafts in the Tzintzuntzan market

More stuff - looks like Christmas

Church right behind the market

Yacatas Ruins

More Tzintzuntzan Pictures

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Santa Clara del Cobre

Santa Clara del Cobre, a small village outside of Patzcuaro, has been a mecca of copper smithing for centuries. It is the home of the Purepecha Indians who have been working with copper since pre-Colombian times. Over the centuries, the Purepecha and their descendents have supported their families through the fabrication of copper vessels.

Sue (a student at CELEP) and I went up to Santa Clara del Cobre for a few hours before continuing on to the back road to Zirahuen. Right off the Plaza looking uphill on your left is the Museum and up that street there are some of the best shops. There are numerous factories (fabricas) around town ... and the one I took fotos of is 3-4 blocks back towards Patzcuaro.

One of the Copper Shops up from the main Plaza

Sue is looking thru the Copper Museum

Inside one of the nicest Copper Shops in town

Taking a pot out of the fire

The 'Fire and Water' with acids is to create a glaze like surface
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Patzcuaro is the ex-capital of Michoacan and before that was Tzintzuntzan, a small town nearby dating to the Purhépecha empire in the 1300's. The museum in Patzcuaro is finding ruins in it's back yard that predates history and they are believed to be earlier than the history of Tzintzuntzan. The Purhépecha were one of the indigenous tribes that were not conquered by the Aztecs

Patz/Uruapan Trip 2003
Monarch Butterfly Watch
CELEP Spanish School
Ruta Don Vasco
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