Architecture in Oaxaca city is an amazing eclectic showcase of styles. Just walk around the streets to experience an authentic aesthetic feast of buildings with pre-hispanic era and contemporary styles. Monte Albán and the city’s historic center have been listed in UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Despite threat of earthquakes, many Oaxaca architecture still stand. They are famous for their well-built stone exteriors with extra thick walls.

Oaxaca sits neatly on a typical Spanish colonial grid system. The streets are promptly lined with impressive colonial mansions that stood the test of revolution and earthquakes. The brightly colored paintwork of these houses adds an eccentric touch to the city center, perfectly complementing Oaxaca’s diverse culture. Today, many of these houses are used to house some interesting.

Pre-hispanic architecture

Oaxaca bursts with majestic pre-hispanic architecture and archeological. Monte Albán houses some of the most impressive and famous examples of such architecture in the country. The Zapotecs carefully expanded and honed Monte Albán to architectural finesse. They built palaces, tombs, complex drainage systems, and many more 400m above the Central Valleys.

Mitla also has some of the other noteworthy pre-hispanic architecture, including well-preserved pre-colombian mesoamerican palaces. The design has Mixtec and Zapotec influences and the dominant geometric reliefs give the architecture a unique flavor.

Gothic and Renaissance styles

The Spanish settlers brought with them the Gothic and Renaissance styles popular during the 16th and 17th centuries. These styles are evident in the Jesuit Templo de la Compañía built in 1579. It was rebuild many times due to damages from earthquakes. In the 1930s, the building was officially named a historic monument and has since received much deserved care. The typically gothic facade with pointed, tierred arches and detailed carvings has been skillfully restored.

Mexican Baroque style

The best examples of Mexican baroque architecture can be admired religious buildings, most notably the Oaxaca Cathedral. The construction of this enormous architecture started in 1533 and took more than 200 years to finish as earthquakes kept delaying the construction. The exterior features curved arches, with statues lining the entrance.

Basílica de la Soledad is another grand piece of Oaxaca architecture reflecting the baroque design. Construction began in 1682 and it took eight years to complete. Its facade is an exquisite example of Mexican baroque and the chiaroscuro effects used in the carvings and the tiled frontispiece are above all dramatic. Iglesia de Santo Domingo is also an early statement from the Mexican baroque period, constructed in 1570 and completed in 1608.

The 18th century Templo de San Felipe is an interesting mix of baroque and renaissance. But the interior, especially the multiple altar pieces, reflects the flashy embellishment of the later baroque period – the Churrigueresque.

Neoclassical style

The Neoclassical style is one of the last architectural styles to flourish during the Spanish colonial period. You can find the best example at the Palacio de Gobierno in Zócalo. The current building, however, is not the entirely original model since it underwent major restoration in the 1930’s.