Architecture of Mexico

Office  building in  Cancun, Mx

Modern  Office building in Cancun, Mexico 

The architecture of Mexico is known for its variety that developed in several phases from different cultures. During the pre-hispanic period from  300 A.D. through the year 1581 A.D. most architecture was the product of Maya and Aztec civilizations which can be seen today at such archeological sites as Palanque, Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza.  After Cortez and the Spanish armies conquered mexico in the year 1581, European architecture  replaced Maya and Aztec building techniques with  baroque, renaissance, gothic,  and neoclassical architectural styles during what is known as the colonial period of Mexican history.  Existing examples of this transition can be seen in several Mexican  cities like  Guanajuato, Morelia and San Miguel de Allende that have all been declared UNESCO  world heritage sites due  to the well-preserved colonial buildings in these area’s.   In the year  1821, Mexico  finally gained it’s independence but there where very few new developments in the field of architecture for several decades until the emperor Maximilian and the dictator Porfirio Diaz started to import French architectural designs around 1860.  Perhaps, the most famous example of French influenced architecture of the day is the Palacio de Belles Artes in Mexico City commissioned by Diaz.. The next and most recent evolution in Mexican architecture came along just after  the Mexican  civil war  ended in 1910 when modern and contemporary architecture started to replace obsolete  building techniques. During this time frame  architects started  blending Mexican stylistic  elements with expressionist and functionalist design concepts  to create innovative works of modern architecture that continues to this day. A few representative examples of Mexican architecture from past to present are included in  the photo essay below.

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