Exploring Colonial Mexico©

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by Richard D. Perry

Following Cortes' military defeat of the Aztecs, all across their great empire and the lands of its neighbors, Spanish friars embarked upon the "spiritual conquest" of Mexico.

As the 16th century progressed, monasteries and missions great and small arose in every town and village ­ highly visible bastions of the new Catholic religion and Spanish colonial rule. Four hundred years later, many of these venerable monasteries still stand, their sculpted churches and timeworn cloisters girded by battlemented atriums.

Within their walls lie exquisite gilded altarpieces and religious sculptures and folk altars. In many cases, cycles of spectacular early religious murals, painted by Indian artists under the direction of the friars, have come to light, hidden for centuries beneath layers of whitewash.

Now accessible by paved roads, many of these venerable monasteries have been newly restored and are a rewarding destination for the cultural traveler.

Superbly illustrated by the author with detailed line drawings, maps, plans and diagrams, Mexico's Fortress Monasteries explores sixty of the most outstanding monuments, located throughout the colonial heartland of Mexico.

In addition to exploring the Valley of Mexico, we also visit the monasteries in the surrounding states of Puebla to the east, Morelos to the south, and Hidalgo to the north ­ all rich in superb colonial art and architecture. There is also a chapter on Oaxaca, a region noted for its magnificent Dominican priories and churches.

Consult our Archive and the Central Mexico map for information on other sites mentioned on the Espadaña Press web site.

As the most recent book on this subject in English, updated with much new information, a new bibliography and index, Mexico's Fortress Monasteries serves as a unique reference work as well as an indispensable traveler's guide.

$19.95. Paperback. 8.5"x11". 224 pages Now only $15.00