The Volcano Paricutín and his buried Church

The Volcano Paricutin, it is one of Michoacán's tourist attractions, that you can visit during your next visit to Patzcuaro. A day trip that some of our guests at Hotel Mansion Iturbe want to make. They want to know more information about the Volcano Paricutin, his location and when this Young Volcano erupted.

Volcano Paricutin (image from SECTUR Michoacan)
Volcano Paricutin (image from SECTUR Michoacan)

The Volcano Paricutin is located near  the village of Angahuan, located approximately to 93kms of Patzcuaro.

Our friend Adrew Carhartt, a resident from the United States in Patzcuaro, made a trip to the zone of the Volcano Paricutin and he shares his experience with us and also giving us an introduction on this interesting place:

“A Visit to a Church Half-Buried in Lava!

Vulcán Paricutín started to “erupt” in February 1943. 

There was no evidence or warning of its activity prior to the event.  It just slowly appeared out of nowhere in the middle of a farmer’s cornfield one afternoon, and grew and grew for nine years.  It didn’t spew out enormous boulders as do some volcanoes, but instead produced many rivers of lava that moved more slowly than a person can walk (not one person died as a direct result of the “eruption”).  It burned and/or covered everything in its path – and over a total area of 230 square kilometers.

Something unusual was in the path of the lava river: the unfortunate church of San Juan Parangaricutiro, just outside Angahuan.  But just look at what remains of it: the beautiful façade and the altar itself – at opposite extremes of the building!  This image is taken from within the temple.  The tower to the left of the image was under construction at the time of event.

Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro
Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro

The “tributary” of lava surrounded and entered the afore-mentioned temple.  As the lava cooled, it mixed with the soil and expanded upward, forming tall structures everywhere the lava gathered.

Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro
Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro
Just three months ago – and for the first time since the disaster – a bolt of lightning struck a corner of the first tower of the façade, dashing several blocks of cantera to the lava rock below.  Fortunately, the rest of the tower remains intact (see next image).

Tower of the Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro
Tower of the Church of San Juan Parangaricutiro

Note:  There are no walkways, per se, after you start your ascent to – nor within – the church.  Nothing but uneven lava rock sticking up everywhere, with occasional level spots of dirt….  Not recommended if you are not half burro! “

We invite you to check more post in our blog, you will find information about Patzcuaro and it's surroundings that we hope will be helpful for your next trip to our colonial town in Mexico.

Here are some post that we suggest you:

Hotel Mansion Iturbe

Portal Morelos 59
Plaza Vasco de Quiroga
61600 Patzcuaro, Michoacan

For more information about our Hotel in Patzcuaro

Reservations online at Hotel Mansion Iturbe

Tels: +52 (434) 342 0368 / 342 3628

Fax: +52 (434) 342 3627

Toll Free fax number from USA & CANADA: 1 866 678 6102

Amadeus: ON MLMMAN
Sabre: ON 16297