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Tzintzuntzán

Tzintzuntzán is the name of a ruined Pre-Columbian city, capital of the Native American Tarascan or Purépecha nation. Tzintzuntzán is located on the shore of lake Patzcuaro, about 15 km north of the town of Patzcuaro, and about 100 km west of the city of Morelia, in the Michoacán state of Mexico. Tzintzuntzán is also the name of the modern town which borders on the ruins of the ancient city. Tzintzuntzán means "Place of the Hummingbirds" in the Tarascan language.

The Pre-Columbian city of Tzintzuntzán covers an area of about 7 km square. The site has the remains of many step-pyramids, known locally as Yácatas. The Yácatas are of several different shapes, some rectangular, some oval or circular, and others in the distinctive Tarascan "T" shape. The ancient population of the city is estimated at about 25,000 to 35,000 people. The site flourished from about 1200 to 1530.

The modern town of Tzintzuntzán had 3,610 people according to the 2000 census. It is known for the basketry and weaving produced thee as well as a large 16th century Spanish Monastary of Santa Ana, built over what was part of the Pre-Columbian city reusing Tarascan cut stones. The archeological park containing the ruins on the edge of town are a site of tourism.

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