Page:Appleton's Guide to Mexico.djvu/97

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
69
ARCHITECTURE.

in stature, but possessing great endurance. Thus far the Indians have not been affected by foreign influence. It is very difficult to give a correct estimate of the number of foreigners in the country. We are disposed to believe that it does not exceed 100,000. The foreign population consists chiefly of French, Spaniards, Americans, Germans, Italians, and English. They live mostly in the cities of Mexico, Vera Cruz, Puebla, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Monterey, and Guaymas. The Mexicans reside principally in cities and towns. In the rural districts the traveler will find some haciendas, or farm-houses, at a distance from any settlement, but isolated dwellings are rarely met with. Except along the trunk-lines of railroad, one can ride fifteen or twenty miles in many parts of the Republic with-seeing a house.


 

XXI.

Architecture.

The architecture of the ruined palaces and temples of Mexico is described in the chapter on ruins. It may be said, however, that the former resemble the buildings of the ancient Greeks and Romans in ornamentation, and the latter are not unlike the pyramids of Egypt in external appearance.

The prevailing style of modern architecture throughout the Republic is the Spanish renaissance. Almost every cathedral and church in the country are built in this fashion. The façades of the churches often contain beautiful stone carvings of figures of the saints, and also arabesque work. Mexico, Puebla, Morelia, and Guadalajara, contain cathedrals that compare favorably with those of any other cities in the world. The plans of most of the Mexican churches were drawn in Spain. The buildings used for secular purposes, especially those belonging