Native laborers built the massive Cathedral of Mérida in a remarkably short period of time. Begun in the early 1560s, just two decades after the foundation of the Spanish colonial town, the building's sand-colored walls, soaring vaults supported by massive columns, and idiosyncratic facade were in place by the end of the century. Aimed at a mixed audience of historians and nonspecialists, Miguel Bretos's book synthesizes scholarship on the cathedral, emphasizing the ways in which the ambitions of bishops and the trajectory of Mexican history shaped the structure that visitors see today. The author's engagement with the literature on the cathedral is supplemented by a close visual analysis conveyed through descriptive language and an abundance of photographs, most of them in color.

Following a consideration of cathedral as both an institutional and an architectural term, Bretos surveys the history of Spanish exploration...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.