Capula, Home of the Catrinas

      A favorite destination for our guests at Hotel Mansión Iturbe is a pleasant shopping trip to Capula, a small village between Pátzcuaro and Morelia.  Federal Highway 15 covers most of the 45 kilometers from Pátzcuaro.

“Capula” means “place of the capulines – a sought-after tree with chokecherry-like fruit.  Capula, though small, is a major Mecca for those in search of artisanwork that dates from the 16th century, when the indigenous techniques fused with those of the Spaniards to create the current pottery style of the region (once again, Don Vasco de Quiroga’s influence is recalled). Potterywork from Capula is instantly recognizable and is appreciated throughout México and beyond. 


Have you heard of “Catrinas”?  These capricious skeletal renditions were designed and created by the famous artist Juan Torres, resident of Capula.  Catrinas are particularly visible around Noche de los Muertos, but can be found year ‘round in an infinite variety of elegance, size (some life-size), and costumes. 
Visit Juan Torres' workshop inside his gate to the left. He has some beautiful items for sale. Sr. Torres has a charming chapel-like gallery further up the driveway to his home. Make it a point to visit, as well. 

The State of Michoacán has recognized Capula as a major artisan center for claywork, and with good reason.  The local style uses tiny dots in the design that is characteristic of Capula.  The most traditional design incorporates fish, although other subjects are currently employed.  Traditional kilns of adobe are used for firing. 

Visit the many artisan shops in town and chat with the artists.  The Mercado de Artesanías on the edge of town is a cooperative effort with wares from dozens of artisans under one roof.  If you find a particular style that catches your eye, ask the clerk where to find him or her. 

A trip to Capula is not complete without seeing the well-preserved Templo de Santiago Apóstol (sixteenth century).  The Fiesta del Señor Santiago, held on July 25, is a major celebration, with music, expos, and artisan markets.

When you return to Pátzuaro after the exhilarating experience in Capula, relax and enjoy your favorite traditional Michoacan entré at the Restaurante Doña Paca del Hotel Mansión Iturbe – and plan your next trip to Capula, because you will want to return!

Text and Pictures Property of Hotel Mansion Iturbe.

Portal Morelos 59
Plaza Vasco de Quiroga
61600 Pátzcuaro, Michoacán.

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