Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/486

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466
HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL

they are only of one story, a precaution not so much suggested by fear of earthquakes as enjoined by the old Spanish law.

The streets are neatly paved, either with common stones, or more generally with a gray-streaked marble, which makes them very slippery, and riding or driving very dangerous. They slope from each side towards the centre, along which runs almost perpetually a streamlet of clear water, the edges of which being covered with verdure give to the city a picturesque though deserted appearance. In some few of the streets there are trottoirs, particularly in the Plaza, or chief square, where they are covered with a colonnade extending all round the square, excepting on the side occupied by the cathedral: opposite to this is the palace, with the government offices; and, on the two other sides, are retail shops of all descriptions of dry goods; whilst the area is used as a market where the Indians come daily to sell their poultry, fruit, and other provisions. In the