Felix Candela, Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Emperor Maximilian, sports palace
From the 16th through the 18th centuries, architecture overshadowed other forms of art in Mexico. The early buildings of the Spaniards tended to be simple and practical. In the 17th and 18th centuries, however, architecture in Mexico became highly decorative and elaborate. It was during this period that many of the country’s famous churches were built, including the Cathedral of Mexico in Mexico City. Examples of Spanish colonial architecture are found throughout Mexico.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the French splendors of the Second Empire style were introduced in Mexico City. This trend began under Emperor Maximilian, who ruled Mexico briefly during the 1860s, and later under President Porfirio Diaz. Diaz commissioned the ornate Palace of Fine Arts, which was completed in the 1930s. Since the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), many outstanding examples of modern architecture have been built in Mexico. The National Autonomous University of Mexico contains many spectacular modern buildings that feature murals in fresco and mosaic. It includes a multistory library almost completely covered by mosaics designed by Juan O’Gorman. Another Mexican architect, Felix Candela, created highly original concrete shell designs for several churches and for the sports palace at the 1968 Olympic Games. One of Mexico’s most internationally admired architects, Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, designed the renowned Museum of Anthropology and History in downtown Mexico City.
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