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Pátzcuaro, which means "place of stones" in the Purepecha language, is a city in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. It is located at 19°51′N 101°61′W, about an hour drive between Morelia and Uruapan. was founded in 1540. The city was developed as a religious center, and its early inhabitants believed Pátzcuaro to be the doorway to heaven where the gods ascended and descended. The Purepecha people first settled in Pátzcuaro in 1324, led by Rey Curateme. It has always been of interest to Mexican history buffs because it was central to the careers of two diametrically opposed characters in Mexico's colonial past. The first was Nuño Guzmán de Beltrán, the vicious conquistador who plundered the area for gold. He burned alive the local Purepecha Indian chief when that man couldn't or wouldn't tell him where Indian gold was hidden. Eventually his crimes against the Indians became so extreme that the Spanish were forced to arrest him. In his place they sent Don Vasco de Quiroga, a former judge from Mexico City who had become a priest. Don Vasco de Quiroga helped the Purepecha Indians in the Pátzcuaro area by introducing new crops and establishing schools and hospitals. Pátzcuaro is hidden high in the mountains of Michoacán. It is veiled from the outside world by a curtain of high pine trees. To the north is Lake Pátzcuaro, one of Mexico's highest lakes

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Additional Photos by Alejandro Llovet (allovet) Silver Star Critiquer [C: 13 W: 7 N: 5] (110)
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