SANTA FE DE LA LAGUNA
This is five minutes from Quiroga, on the road to Guadalajara. This village is famous for its polychrome china. Here it is possible to find the typical architecture of a Purhépecha town. Do not miss visiting the temple of San Nicolás, dating from the sixteenth century, and the site of the hospital founded by don Vasco de Quiroga. Here is located the bishops chair that was occupied by the illustrious benefactor, and which is now zealously guarded by the inhabitants of this town, who produce glazed pottery on a grand scale.
The name of this place comes from the word tokua , meaning stone ax. It is accessible by an excellent panoramic road that passes through many small towns, such as Huecorio, Tzentzénguaro, Santa Ana and San Pedro Pareo. The main craft products of this town are masks, whose designs relate to one of the most characteristic philosophies of prehispanic times. We refer to Duality, representing the union of contraries, in this case through masks that intermingle features of savage animals with humans, or two different profiles on the same mask.
This is on the western shore of the lake, 17 km. from Pátzcuaro, after Tócuaro, and past Arócutin and Uricho. Its name means place of vigilance. In ancient times, Sundays were festive and colorful, because it was the day of the exchange market between the islanders and the mountain inhabitants, who interchanged commodities of the lake such as fish, birds, mats, large baskets and such, for goods of the mountains, including firewood, clothing, wood for construction, fruit, legumes and so on. Here also is the mark of the Franciscans in a sixteenth century temple and monastery, honoring the Virgin of the Assumption. Now it functions as a seminary, which is possible to visit. Its thick walls are adobe, its sober corridors are framed by arches of rock and quarry stone, yielding a severe, but tranquil and spiritual atmosphere. In the middle is a well with a simple curbstone, moulded arch and crosspiece to draw the water. After visiting this picturesque town, you can return to Pátzcuaro by the same route or continue circling the lake, passing various small towns, and finally coming out on the road to Guadalajara, approximately 5 minutes from Santa Fe de la Laguna.
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