Morelia is a city and municipality in the north central part of the state of Michoacn in central Mexico. The city is in the Guayangareo Valley and is the capital of the state. The main pre-Hispanic cultures here were the P'urhpecha and the Matlatzinca, but no major cities were founded in the valley during this time. The Spanish took control of the area in the 1520s. The Spanish under Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza founded a settlement here in 1541 with the name of Valladolid, which became rival to the nearby city of Ptzcuaro for dominance in Michoacn. In 1580, this rivalry ended in Valladolids favor and it became the capital of the colonial province. After the Mexican War of Independence, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of Jos Mara Morelos y Pavn, who hailed from the city. In 1991, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well preserved colonial buildings and layout of the historic center.