Monday, April 11, 2011

Day Four of My Artisan & Architecture Tour

It seemed like a week ago that we had left San Miguel de Allende and headed over to Patzcuaro for part of my Artisan & Architecture tour.  We actually just arrived into Patzcuaro the day before.  The breakfasts that we were served at our hotel was a great way to start the day off.  Every morning we had coffee, tea or hot chocolate, freshly squeezed orange juice, individual servings of fresh fruit, baskets of delicious pastries and breads finished off by a hearty entree.  The chilaquiles above were delicious.  Each state in Mexico has their own version of Chilaqules.  This particular one consisted of fried tortillas, a salsa of pasilla chiles, onions, queso fresco and creme fraiche.  I love how the refried beans were garnished so beautifully with fried strips of tortillas.  It was like a birds nest.

 After breakfast we headed out for the day and the morning was a walking tour of Patzcuaro.  One of my favorite things to do in Patzcuaro is to go to the market.  It was bustling that morning.  People buying, people selling, peole visiting...
These two men were having a great time.  The food looked as good as it smelt.  And the place was spotless.
Formerly the San Augustin Monastery, today it is the Gertudis Bocanegra library named after a heroine of the War of Independence.  This mural, painted Juan O'Gorman in 1941, depicts the history of the state of Michoacan.   At the top of the mural, he painted an erupting volcano.  A year after the mural was completed, the nearby Paricutin volcano erupted.
On the far left is O'Gorman and his wife holding a scroll which proclaims the future day of redemption for the Mexican Indians and the release of a "great force which will explode like a gigantic volcano to produce extraordinary art and culture."  There is a small jester at their side with a scroll reading, "That's life."
 We walked around the beautiful Don Vasco Plaza.
 Another stop was in a shop and taller (workshop) noted for their lacquer work and Cristo de Cana.   We were given a demonstration and explanation on the lacquer along with one on the Cristo de Cana.  Cristo de Cana is a light weight processional crucifix made out of corn pith and orchid glue.   This is a process that was introduced by Don Vasco in the mid 1500's and many of the churchs in the area have Cristo de Canas dating back to that era.
We toured another taller and shop noted for their woven napkins, tablecloths and bedspreads in a variety of colors. 

A block away we toured the Folk Art Museum which was formerly the original site of the oldest college the Americas.  The Museum showcased ancient weapons, furniture, crafts, clothing, weavings and art from the state of Michoacan.  I just love the kitchen above.
We toured the Basilica de la Salud which was recently restored a few years ago.  I particularly love the beautiful stain glass windows.  The big rose window is pretty impressvie too.
After a lot of sightseeing, we had lunch in this quaint interior courtyard before we headed over to Santa Clara de Cobre for the rest of the afternoon.  What a great day we have had so far!

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