Morelia, an inland city of Mexico, capital of the state of Michoacan and of a district of its own name, 125 m. W. by N. of Mexico; pop. officially estimated in 1869 at 30,000. The city stands upon a rocky hill 6,438 ft. above the sea; its streets are wide and cross each other at right angles, but are mostly disfigured by open sewers. On one side of the Plaza de los Martires, the largest square, stands the cathedral, and the other sides are flanked by extensive arcades, the principal business centre. The construction of the houses is remarkably substantial, but few of them are of more than two stories. The cathedral has two towers about 200 ft. high. The government palace has a handsome exterior. The San Nicolas college, first built in the 16th century, and reconstructed in 1868, in the renaissance style, is one of the finest edifices in the republic. The numerous convents and nunneries were suppressed in 1859, and the buildings are for the most part in ruins. Water is supplied by an aqueduct, constructed in 1788, 3 m. long, with vast and lofty arches, and of imposing aspect. The bull ring is one of the best and most spacious in Mexico. There are two asylums or houses of refuge, one for each sex, a hospital, a fine prison, two or three barracks, and two cemeteries.
Besides the college above mentioned, including departments of law, medicine, pharmacy, and agriculture, there is a considerable number of schools of various grades. The manufacturing industry is limited to cotton and woollen fabrics, of which there are two factories, one having 68 looms and employing 200 hands; and guayabate, a delicate fruit preserve, extensively exported to Mexico. - The city was founded in 1541, and received the name of Valladolid, which in 1828 was changed to that of Morelia, in honor of the patriot Jose Maria Morelos, who as well as Iturbide was a native of the place. In spite of a somewhat insalubrious climate, periodical inundations, and occasional earthquakes, Morelia has rapidly increased in extent and importance; in 1856 it had only 30 streets, and now has 99. It was made a bishopric in 1863.