Cuernavaca (Spanish pronunciation: [kweɾnaˈβaka] (listen); Classical Nahuatl: Cuauhnāhuac [kʷawˈnaːwak] "near the woods", modern Nahuatl pronunciation ) is the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos in Mexico. The city is located around a 90-minute drive south of Mexico City using the Federal Highway 95D.
The name "Cuernavaca" is an euphonism derived from the Nahuatl toponym "Cuauhnāhuac" and means "surrounded by or close to trees". The name was Hispanicized to Cuernavaca; Hernán Cortés called it Coadnabaced in his letters to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Bernal Díaz del Castillo used the name Cuautlavaca in his chronicles. The coat-of-arms of the municipality is based on the pre-Columbian pictograph emblem of the city which depicts a tree trunk (cuahuitl) with three branches, with foliage, and four roots colored red. There is a cut in the trunk in the form of a mouth, from which emerges a speech scroll, probably representing the language Nahuatl and by extension the locative suffix "-nāhuac", meaning "near".
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