Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “Mexican architecture”

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Contrast Colors

Contrasting colors in Oaxaca? Too easy.  Oaxaca is awash with bold color combinations. It could be the birthplace of color contrasts! A one hour walk around El Centro provided more photo ops than I imagined.  I did not have to find them – they found me!

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Click on any photo for a slide show

If you just can’t decide what color to use…why not use them all!

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Photo taken in San Martín Tilcajete

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Throughout the day and even at sunset, the colors that surround us are intensified by the beautiful Oaxaca blue sky.

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Painted Churches

From tiny chapels to immense cathedrals, the colonial era churches of Mexico grace the central zócalo (plaza) of almost every Mexican pueblo and city.

After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the early 1500’s, the Spaniards began building churches, monasteries, and convents in every corner of Mexico. Some proved too grandiose for the amount of money available and were never finished. Others were destroyed in earthquakes or fell into ruin from neglect. However, many of these splendid structures served their congregations well for hundreds of years and have been lovingly restored and maintained.

The Oaxaca Valley is home to three of my favorites (so far). The architectural style is similar in all three, but their beauty was bestowed upon them by the artists who wielded the paintbrushes.

Saint Ana del Valle

Church of Saint Anne, Santa Ana del Valle

Church of Saint Anne, Santa Ana del Valle

Click on a picture to view as a slide show.

Santo Domingo de Ocotlán

Santo Domingo de Ocotlán: Ceiling

Santo Domingo de Ocotlán: Ceiling

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Santa Ana Zegache

Ahhh…I saved the best for last. There is nothing shy about this church!  Perhaps drenching the sculptured details with polychromatic colors was not part of the original designer’s vision, but the church wears them proudly. Looking at it just makes you feel happy.

Church in Santa Ana Zegache

Church in Santa Ana Zegache

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Famous Mexican artist Rodolfo Morales (1925 -2001) established a foundation that has provided ongoing work for the people of Zegache while restoring their church and its appointments. Read about this excellent program at www.proyectozegache.comSome Rodolfo Morales paintings are displayed in a museum next to the Santo Domingo Ocotlán church. For information and photos (before and after) of restorations: www.fcrom.org.mx

Santa Ana Zegache: Interior Entrance

Santa Ana Zegache: Interior Entrance

Click on a picture to view as a slide show.

Mexico City from the Turibus Top

Viewed from the air, the metropolis of Mexico City is awesome in its enormity. Located in the Valley of Mexico at an altitude of approximately 2200 m (7217 ft.), the city embraces the surrounding mountains and creeps up their slopes. The city and its 25,000,000 inhabitants are guarded by (or threatened by!) the active volcano Popocatépetl,  5426 m, (17,802 ft.). Tenochtitlán, the original Aztec city on this site, was conquered by the Spaniards in the early 1500’s, and they eventually rebuilt the city in the Spanish Colonial style.

Downtown Mexico City (Feb. 2012)

Downtown Mexico City (Feb. 2012)

During a recent bus trip from Oaxaca to Colima, we spent a couple of nights in Mexico City. The open top of a double-decker bus was the best way to get an overview of  the historical  city center.  Tree tops shaded us and sometimes brushed our faces as the bus wound through commercial and residential areas. Sleek modern skyscrapers contrast sharply with elaborate styles of the past.

Styles of the Centuries

Styles of the Centuries

Monument to Benito Juárez the only Indigenous president of Mexico

Monument to Benito Juárez the only Indigenous president of Mexico

Winged Horse Statue

Winged Horse Statue

We definitely look forward to exploring Mexico City in more detail!

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