HOW AND WHEN DID MEXICAN ARCHITECTURE ARISE?
Mexican architecture comes in various styles, each conveying a different tale about Mexican history. The Spanish and French had a significant effect on Mexican history, reflected in the architectural styles seen in the country. Early churches and monasteries were created employing Spanish mudejarismo (a sort of embellishment and decorating) architectural styles due to the impact of Spanish rule in Mexico. Baroque art and architecture were popular during most of the colonial period.
Because churches were important landmarks in practically every city, town, and village in Mexico, the Baroque style was mostly employed in churches. Mexico’s townscapes remained mostly unchanged until the French conquest during the Second Mexican Empire in the early nineteenth century. Emperor Maximilian I introduced a new set of urban architectural styles and concepts to Mexico. President Diaz advocated for a cosmopolitan, modern Mexico City. The introduction of cast iron technologies, marble, granite, bronzes, and stained glass from Europe and America allowed for new architectural styles.
MEXICAN TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE
Mexico’s indigenous people developed a contextualized, practical, and acceptable architectural style for each location, leaving a rich heritage still in use today. A thorough analysis of the myriad topographical, hydrological, meteorological, social, economic, productive, and cultural aspects of their growth influenced traditional architectural forms immensely. Traditional architecture is distinguished by its capacity to persist and its synchronization with the surrounding environmental, cultural, and social context. This means that the construction systems are sophisticated enough to function in harmony with their surroundings and withstand the test of time.
MEXICAN ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
Mexican architectural styles are many, and each one represents the country’s history. The majority of current Mexican architecture is influenced by its Hispanic background and resembles many ancient Spanish communities. See gorgeous candy-coloured colonial palaces built along cobblestone paths in hilly Guanajuato, or head south to San Cristóbal de las Casas for its bright yellow cathedral and ornately crafted Temple of Santo Domingo.
If you’re searching for something a little older, Palenque’s jungles are home to collapsed early Maya temples going back to 226 BC. Make time to see Chichen Itza in Yucatán, an archaeological site once home to one of the Maya civilization’s most powerful civilizations between 600 and 900 AD. Two of the most noteworthy relics are the El Castillo, a limestone step pyramid, and the stunning Great Ball Court, Mesoamerica’s largest still-standing ancient ballcourt. Along Mérida’s Pasejo Montejo, you’ll encounter incredible Maya ruins, colonial churches, and magnificent Beaux Arts architecture.
Aztec temples are examples of later indigenous architecture in Mexico, notable for their tiered buildings and symbolic decoration. Teotihuacan, just outside of Mexico City, is the most famous Aztec site, but the adjacent archaeological zone of Acatitlan features lesser-known but equally stunning constructions. If you wish to explore historic communities of several Mexican indigenous groups, venture outside of Oaxaca to Monte Alban. This pre-Columbian city of Zapotec and Mixtec culture, dating from the 8th century BCE, has plazas, pyramids, clever underground passages, and about 170 tombs to explore!
ARCHITECTURE IN MEXICO CITY
From Aztec era ruins in the historic centre, known locally as the centro histórico, to enormous boulevards built in the French style during the 1800s, Mexico City is a melting pot of architectural influences. Take a tour of the Metropolitan Cathedral in the capital, an important colonial structure that spans 250 years and incorporates a variety of architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque. It was constructed with stone taken from the Aztec Templo Mayor and stood over the Aztec Templo Mayor’s location.
The National Museum of Anthropology, which was erected in the 1960s and has a famous concrete umbrella plaza, and the space-age Museo Soumaya, which is coated in thousands of metallic hexagonal tiles, are both instances of cutting-edge modern Mexican architecture. The core urban areas of Mexico’s major cities, such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, are dominated by modern houses. These residences have a similar architectural style in Taos and Santa Fe. Many patios and flat roofs are among the characteristic features of these contemporary dwellings, which are influenced by Mexican Native American cultures. Most of these houses are stucco or adobe construction, with wood ceilings and tile floors. Because of its small windows, which allow the inside to cool, these houses are quite popular in Mexico’s hot regions.
The name “hacienda” refers to ranch-style dwellings prevalent across Mexico and in parts of the United States’ southern states. These dwellings usually have only one floor and are spread out across a big plot of land. Rooms are frequently divided from one another, as are the kitchen and eating facilities. Brick fireplaces, tile flooring, and courtyards or outdoor patios are all common elements of hacienda ranches.