Sunday, January 17, 2016

San José, Church and Cloister in Morelia, Michoacan

 After visiting with you over this week several points in Michoacán, such as Patzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre y finally Uruapan, following in the steps of Vasco de Quiroga, we have left the crown jewel of the region to the last, Valladolid as it was called during the days of Nueva España, or Morelia, as it is called today, capital and the most important city of the state.

Side entrance of San José with
its twin triple bell towers.
We will take you to see over the next days, several of the most beautiful churches in Morelia, starting today, with the church and Clositer of San Joseph (San José).

The dome of San José is octagonal

Although the predominant style of
San José is Baroque, the altar is
decidedly neoclassical.

Courtyard of the Cloister of
the Church of San José

Another view of the Closter of
San José with its arched pathway
San José's construction started in 1760, but its insignia twin bell towers were not finished until 1945. San José has several valuable paintings from the XVIII century. However, as of the writing of this report, I have not been able to authenticate the painters nor the works. 

View of the south bell tower of
San José from the Cloister.

There is very little information that I have been able to obtain about this church, and this is a rather curious aspect of the work Estela and I do, when we visit churches around Mexico, and in other countries. Sometimes we find a monograph describing the church in the parish office usually in the form of a  mimeographed or photocopied flye Sometimes we receive information from the parish priest, and sometimes we do not, not because the Parish priest does not want to share the information, but because he does not have the information to start out with. Telling visitors the history of their churches is not usually a high priority on the list of many things a parish priests has to do. Many times, these churches are now in the hands of diocesan priests, whereas, the church originally was constructed by friar or priests of a religious order, such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Dominicans or the Augustinians. In these cases, the exchange of records, information and traditions between the original order and the present day clergy was not complete. Strangely, many times our best sources or information is the sacristan.

Small internal chapel in the
San José Cloister Complex

View of the Façade of San José
from the Plaza of San José-

Fountain of the Plaza of San José.

Full view of the façade of San José
from the Plaza of San José

Estela rests at the beautiful fountain of the
Plaza de San José.

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