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the outside of the building. It appears enveloped in a large spiral band of iron, clear by several feet from the pole, on whose apex is a gilt globe of extraordinary dimensions. 106. The word tower has been vaguely applied to all these buildings; but in China there are differences in their application, which are classed under three heads: — 1. Tai, or platforms for astronomical or meteorological observations, or for enjoying the air and landscape. 2. Hou, such as that just described in detail, being edifices of several stories, isolated and circular, square and polygonal on the plan, built of different materials in different places. 3. Ta, which are sepulchral towers. These are commonly massive, of strange but simple forms. 107. The Pay-leon, or triumphal arches of the Chinese, are to be found in every city. They are erected to celebrate particular events. Those at Ning-po are with a central and two smaller side openings, and are ornamented with polygonal stone columns, supporting an entablature of three or four fasciae. These are usually without mouldings, the last but one excepted, which is a species of frieze filled with inscriptions. They are crowned with roofs of the usual form, having broad projections, whose angles are turned upwards. The apertures are sometimes square, and sometimes circular headed. 108. China abounds in bridges; but Du Halde and the missionaries have made more of them in their accounts than they appear to deserve. What they have described as a bridge of ninety-one arches between Soo-chow and Hāng-chow, was passed by Lord Macartney, and found to be nothing more than a long causeway. Its highest arch, however, was supposed to be between 20 ft. and 30 ft. high, and its length about half a mile. Some of their bridges, however, as in the case of that observed by the late Sir George Staunton (vol. ii. p. 177.), are skilfully constructed. They have long been acquainted with the use of the arch composed of wedge-shaped voussoirs, perhaps long before it was known in Europe. Their great wall is one of their most remarkable monuments. It consists of an earthen mound, retained on each side by walls of brick and masonry, with a terraced platform of square bricks. Its total height is 20 ft., including a parapet of 5 ft. The thickness at the base is 25 ft., and it diminishes to 15 ft. at the platform. The towers on it, at intervals of about 200 paces, are 40 ft. square at the base, diminishing to 30 ft. at the top; and their height is about 37 ft. Some of the towers, however, are 48 ft. high, and consist of two stories. It extends from the province of ShenSi to the Wanghay, and in a length of 1500 miles is conducted over mountains, valleys, and rivers, often in places inaccessible to an enemy. (See fig. 76.)
Mexican ARchitectU R.E.
io9. The architecture of the people who had possession of America before its discovery by Columbus has a considerable claim upon our attention. When a people appears to have had no means of modelling their ideas through study of the existing monuments of older nations, nor of preserving any traces of the style of building practised by the race from which they originated, their works may be expected to possess some novelty in the mode of combination or in the nature of the objects combined; and, in this point of view, American architecture is not without interest. It is, moreover, instructive in pointing out the bent of the human mind when unbiassed by example in the art. - - --- -
lio. North America was found by the Spaniards advanced in agriculture and civilisation, and more especially so in the valleys of Mexico and Oaxaca. These provinces seem to have been traversed by different migratory tribes, who left behind them traces of cultivation. It is not our intention here to discuss the mode of the original peopling of America; but we must, in passing, observe that the vicinity of the continents of Asia and America 1s such as to induce us to remind the reader that one of the swarms, which we mentioned in the section on Druidical and Celtic Architecture, might have moved in a direction which ultimately brought them to that which, in modern times, has received the name of the New world. The Toultecs appeared in 648, making roads, building cities: and constructing great pyramids, which are yet admired. They knew the use of hieroglyphical paintings, founded metals, and were able to cut the hardest stone. (Humboldt, New Spain.) The Aztecs appeared in 1196, and seem to have had a similar origin and language. Their works, though they attest the infancy of art, bear a striking resemblance to several monuments of the most civilised people. The rigid adherence of the people to the forms, opinions, and customs which habit had rendered familiar to them, is common to all nations under a religious and military despotism. 111. The edifices erected by the Mexicans for religious purposes were solid masses of earth of a pyramidal shape, partly faced with stone. They were called Teocallis (Houses of God). That of ancient Mexico, 318 ft. at the base and 121 ft. in height, consisted of stye stories; and, when seen at a distance, so truncated was the pyramid that the monument appeared an enormous cube, with small altars covered by wooden cupolas on the top. The place where these cupolas terminated was elevated 177 ft. above the base of the - - -- edifice or the pavement of the o --- enclosure. Hence we may ob--~~~ - -o-o: - - - - serve that the Teocalli was very - similar in form to the ancient monument of Babylon, called the Mausoleum of Belus. The pyramids of Teotihuacan (fig. 77.), which still remain in the Mexican Valley, have their faces within 52 minutes of a degree of the cardi- - - - nal points of the compass. Their Fig. 77. rwramitos or trootintu Acax, interior is clay, mixed with small stones. This kernel is covered with a thick wall of porous amygdaloid. Traces are perceived of a bed of lime, which externally covers the stone. 112. The great pyramid of Cholula (fig. 78.), the largest and most sacred temple in --~~ Mexico, appears, at a distance, like a natural conical hill, wooded. and crowned with a small church ; on approaching it, its pyramidal form becomes distinct, as well as the four stories whereof it consists, though they are covered with vegetation. Humboldt compares -- - it to a square whose base is four Fig. 78. an eat P-na-D or cool---a- times that of the Place Vendome at Paris covered with bricks to a height twice that of the Louvre. The height of it is 177 ft., and the length of a side of the base i423 ft. There is a flight of 120 steps to the platform. Subjoined is a comparative statement of the Egyptian and Mexican pyramids : —
Dimensions. Egyptian. | Mexican. Cheops. Cephrenes. Mycerinus. (of io. Too- Cholula. Height in feet - - 448 598 162 150 171 172 Length of base in feet 728 655 280 210 645 1355
The Cholula pyramid is constructed with unburnt bricks and clay, in alternate layers. As in other Teocallis, there are cavities of considerable size, intended for sepulchres. In cutting through one side of it to form the present road from Puebla to Mexico, a square chamber was discovered, built of stones, and supported by beams of cypress wood. Two skeletons were found in it and a number of curiously painted and varnished vases. Humboldt, on an examination of the ruins, observed an arrangement of the bricks for the purpose of diminishing the pressure on the roof, by the sailing over of the bricks horizontally. The area on the top contains 3500 square yards, and was occupied by the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the God of Air, who has yielded his place to the Virgin. By the way, we may here mention that tumuli are found in Virginia, Canada, and Peru, in which there are galleries built of stone communicating with each other by shafts; but these are not surmounted by temples. 113. In the northern part of the intendancy of Vera Cruz, west from the mouth of the Rio Tecolutla, two leagues distant from the great Indian village of Papantla, we meet with a pyramidal edifice of great antiquity. The pyramid of Papantla remained unknown to the first conquerors. It is seated in the middle of a thick forest, and was only discovered by some hunters about thirty-five years ago. It is constructed of immense blocks of stone laid in mortar; but is not so remarkable for its size as for its form and the perfection of its finish, being only 80 ft. square at the base, and not quite 60 ft. high. A flight of fifty-seven steps leads to the truncated pyramid. Like all the Mexican teocallis, it is composed of stages, six whereof are still distinguishable, and a seventh appears to be concealed by the vegetation with which its sides are covered. The facing of the stories is ornamented with hieroglyphics, in which serpents and crocodiles, carved in relievo, are discernible. Each story contains a great number of square niches symmetrically distributed. In the first story twenty-four are on each side; in the second, twenty; and in the third, sixteen. The number of these niches in the body of the pyramid is 366, and there are twelve in the stairs towards the east. 114. The military intrenchment of Xochiculco, near Tetlama, two leagues south-west of Cuernavaca, is another remarkable ancient monument. It is an insulated hill, 370 ft. high, surrounded with ditches or trenches, and divided by the hand of man into five terraces covered with masonry. The whole has the appearance of a truncated pyramid, whereof the four faces are in the cardinal points of the compass. The masonry is of porphyry, very regularly cut, and adorned with hieroglyphics; among which are to be seen a crocodile spouting up water, and men sitting cross-legged after the Asiatic fashion. On the platform, which is very large, is a small square edifice, which was most probably a temple. 115. Though the province of Oaxaca contains no monuments of ancient Aztec architecture, which astonish by their colossal dimensions, like the houses of the gods of Cholula, Papautla, and Teotihuacan, it possesses the ruins of edifices remarkable for their symmetry and the elegance of their ornaments. The antiquity of them is unknown. In the district of Oaxaca, south of Mexico, stands the palace of Mitla, contracted from Mignitlan, signifying, in Aztec, the place of woe. By the Tzapotec Indians the ruins are called leoba, or luiva (burial, or tomb), alluding to the excavations found beneath the walls. It is conjectured to have been a palace constructed over the tombs of the kings, for retirement, on the death of a relation. The tombs of Mitla are three edifices, placed symmetrically in a very romantic situation. That in the best preservation, and, at the same time, the principal one, is nearly 130 ft. long. A staircase, formed in a pit, leads to a subterranean apartment, 88 ft. in length, and 26 ft. in width. This, as well as the exterior part of the edifice, is decorated with fret, and other ornaments of similar character (fig. 79.). But the most singular - on') feature in these ruins, as com_*: o og pared with other Mexican --~~ oo:: *. *. hitecture, was the discover so-o-o-o: - - - are: > y of six porphyry columns, placed for the support of a ceiling, in the midst of a vast hall. They are almost the only ones which have been found in the new continent, and exhibit strong marks of the infancy of the art, having neither base nor capital. The upper part slightly
which they were placed was formed by beams of Savine wood, and three of them are still in good preservation. The roof is of very large slabs. The number of separate buildings was originally five, and they were disposed with great regularity. The gate, whereof some vestiges are still discernible, led to a court 150 ft. square, which, from the rubbish and remains of subterranean apartments, it is supposed was surrounded by four oblong edifices. That on the right is tolerably preserved, the remains of two columns being still in existence. The principal building had a terrace, raised between three and four feet above the level of the court, and serving as a base to the walls it surrounds. In the wall is a niche, with pillars, four or five feet above the level of the floor. The stone lintel, over the principal door of the hall, is in a single block, 12 ft. long and 3 ft. deep. The excavation is reached by a very wide staircase, and is in the form of a cross, supported by columns. The two portions of it, which intersect each other at right angles, are each 82 ft. long by 25 ft. wide. The inner court is surrounded by three small apartments, having no communic” with the fourth, which is behind the niche. The interiors of the apartments are decorated with paintings of weapons, sacrifices, and trophies. Of windows there are n° to: Humboldt was struck with the resemblance of some of the ornaments to those on the "** **** of Lower Italy. In the neighbourhood of these ruins are the rema” of a large pyramid, and other buildings. - f Mexi d in 116. In the intendency of Sonora, which lies north-west of the city of T . an t the Gulf of California, on the banks of the Rio Gila, are some remarkable ruins. ..". the name of the Casa Grande. They stand in the middle of the yo. o . north city. The sides are in the direction of the four cardinal point” ” are 44 so it.
to south, and 276 ft. from east to west. The materials are unburned brick, symmetrically arranged, but unequal in size. The walls are 4 ft. in thickness. The building was of three stories. The principal edifice was surrounded by a wall with towers in it at intervals. From vestiges which appear, it is supposed the town was supplied with the water of the Rio Gila, by an artificial canal. The plain in the neighbourhood is covered with broken earthen pottery painted in white, red, and blue colours.
117. The capital of Mexico, reconstructed by the Spaniards, is undoubtedly one of the finest cities ever built by Europeans in either hemisphere. Perhaps there scarcely exists a city of the same extent which, for the uniform level of the ground on which it stands, for the regularity and breadth of the streets, and the extent of its great square, can be compared to the capital of New Spain. The architecture is pleasing. Ornament is sparingly applied to it; and the sorts of stone employed, which are a porous amygdaloid called tetzontli, and a porphyry of vitreous feld-spath, without any quartz, give to the Mexican buildings an air of solidity, and sometimes even of magnificence. The wooden balconies and galleries which disfigure the European cities in both the Indies are discarded. The balustrades and gates are all of Biscay iron ornamented with bronze; and the houses, instead of roofs, have terraces, like those in Italy and other southern countries. It must, however, be admitted, not withstanding the progress of the arts there during the last thirty years, that it is less from the grandeur and beauty of the edifices, than from the breadth and straightness of the streets, and their uniform regularity and extent, that Mexico commands the admiration of Europeans.
ARABIAN, MoRFsque, or sARAcrxic Architrotu RF.
118. Before the appearance of Mahomet, in the seventh century, and the consequent establishment of Islamism, the Arabians were by no means celebrated for their skill in architecture. The beautiful country of Happy Yemen, wherein were seated the most ancient and populous of the forty-two cities of Arabia enumerated by Abulfeda, does not appear to have produced what might have been expected from the neighbours of the Egyptians, Syrians, Chaldeans, and Persians. The arts of the surrounding nations seem to have been lost upon them. Though a part of their time and industry was devoted to the management of their cattle, still they were collected into towns, and were employed in the labours of trade and agriculture. The towers of Saana, compared by Abulfeda to Damascus, and the marvellous reservoir of Merab, were constructed by the kings of the Homerites, who, after a sway of two thousand years, became extinguished in 502. The latter, the Meriaba, mentioned by Pliny as having been destroyed by the legions of Augustus, was six miles in circumference, and had not revived in the fourteenth century. “But," says Gibbon, “the profane lustre of these was eclipsed by the prophetic glories of Medina and Mecca.” Of the ancient architecture of Arabia there are so few examples remaining, that no satisfactory account can be given of it. Excavations, still seen in rocks, are said to be the houses of the people called Thamud; but the Caaba of Mecca is the only one of the seven temples in which the Arabians worshipped their idols now in existence. It is a quadrangular building, about 36 ft. long, 34 ft. broad, and about 40 ft. high. It is lighted by a door on the east side, and by a window, and the roof is supported by three octangular pillars. Since its adoption by Mahomet, it has been enclosed by the caliphs with a quadrangle, round which are porticoes and apartments for the pilgrims resorting to it. Here were the tombs of the eighty descendants of Mahomet and of his wife; but, in 1803, they were destroyed by the Wahabees, who, however, respected and spared the Caaba and its enclosures.
119. The extraordinary conquests from the Indus to the Nile, under Omar, the second caliph, who, after a reign of ten years, died in A. D. 644, brought the victorious Moslems in contact with nations then much more civilised than themselves. As their empire extended. their love for the arts and sciences increased. The first mosque built out of the limits of Arabia is supposed to be that which was founded by Omar on the site of the ancient temple at Jerusalem. Under the dynasty of the Ommiades, of which race Omar was a member, the cultivation of architecture was carried on with success. The seat of the empire was removed to Damascus, which was considerably enlarged and improved. Among its numerous splendid buildings was the celebrated mosque founded by Alwalid II. It was he who introduced the lofty minaret, which, though an innovation at the time, seems, in later years, to have been as necessary a portion of the mosque as the main body of it. This caliph made considerable additions to the mosque at Medina, as he also did to that which had been built by Omar on the site of the Temple of Solomon, above mentioned. His generals and governors of provinces seem to have been equally zealous in the cause of art and the prophet; witness the mosque built by one of the former on taking Samarcand, and
HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE. Book I.
and 276 ft. from east to west. The materials are unburned brick, symmetrial, but unequal in size. The walls are 4 ft. in thickness. The building . es. The principal edifice was surrounded by a wall with to . " at o h iges which appear, it is supposed the town was supplied with the ... o by an artificial canal. The ... o: neighbourhood is covered with bro tte ainted in white, red, an ue colours. . he o of Mexico, reconstructed by the Spania. is undoubtedly o :. is ever built by Europeans in either hemisphero. Perhaps there scarcely i for e same extent which, for the uniform level of the grouud on which it stando ority and breadth of the streets, and the extent of its " square.can be o lied itai of New Spain. The architecture is pleasing: Ornament is . o 1 the sorts of stone employed, which are a Poro” amygdaloid cal b i. o y of vitreous feld-spath, without any quartz, give to the M. ... o which and sometimes even of magnificence. The wooden balonio . ;o and gates the European cities in both the Indies * discarded. The o o have terraces, Biscay iron ornamented with bronze; and the houses, instead i. '.o notwithin Italy and other southern countries. It must, however, h .. loom the the progress of the arts there during the last thirty years to and beauty of the edifices, than from the breadth an
d straightness of the o: - - - - uluniform regularity and extent, that Mexico commands the admiration 0
gement ors of trade and agriculture. . and the marvellous reservo" o who, after a sway of two thousand ye | Meriaba, mentioned by Pliny as having join the fourteenth o, six miles in circumference, and had not revive d by the prophetic glories." * Gibbon, “the profane lustre of these was eclipse o are so few examples . M." Of the ancient architecture of Arabia * nel 4
- second d its ...on the Indus to the Nile, oms in - ften years, died in A. p. 644, brought o: i. empire exte". ho, after a reign o h y ore civilised than themselves. ilt out of the limits " .ith nations then much " increased. The first mosque o: o ite of the ancient , for the arts and sciences hich was founded by Omar 9" t in race Omar was a s supposed to be that." the omniades, of whic seat of the Jerusalem.
Under the dynasty 9 the cultivation o
Char. II. A R A BIAN OR SAI: A CENIC, 51
the universal improvement in the provinces under the sway of the latter. Great as were the works just mentioned, the removal of the seat of the empire to the western frontier of Persia, by the second caliph of the dynasty of the Abassides, gave a lustre to Arabian architecture which almost surpasses belief. Almansor, the brother and successor of Saffah, laid the foundations of Bagdad in the year 145 from the Héjira (A. D. 762), a city which remained the imperial seat of his posterity during a period of five hundred years. The chosen spot is on the eastern bank of the Tigris, about fifteen miles above Modain; the double wall was of a circular form ; “and such,” says Gibbon, “was the rapid increase of a capital, now dwindled to a provincial town, that the funeral of a popular saint might be attended by eight hundred thousand men and sixty thousand women of Bagdad and the adjacent villages.” The magnificence displayed in the palace of the caliph could only be exceeded by that of the Persian kings; but the pious and charitable foundation of cisterns and caravanseras along a measured road of seven hundred miles, has never been equalled. 120. About A. p. 660-5, the prudence of the victorious general Akbah had led him to the purpose of founding an Arabian colony in the heart of Africa; and of forming a citadel that might secure, against the accidents of war, the wealth and families of the Saracens. With this view, under the modest title of a caravan station, he planted the colony of Cairoan, in the fiftieth year of the Héjira. “When,” observes Gibbon, “the wild beasts and serpents were extirpated, when the forest, or rather wilderness, was cleared, the vestiges of a Roman town were discovered in a sandy plain: the vegetable food of Cairoan is brought from afar; and the scarcity of springs constrains the inhabitants to collect, in cisterns and reservoirs, a precarious supply of rain water. These obstacles were subdued by the industry of Akbah; he traced a circumference of three thousand and six hundred paces, which he encompassed with a brick wall; in the space of five years the governor's palace was surrounded with a sufficient number of private habitations; a spacious mosque was supported by five hundred columns of granite, porphyry, and Numidian marble." 121. “In the West, the Ommiades of Spain,” says the same author, “supported with equal pomp the title of Commander of the Faithful. Three miles from Cordova, in honour of his faithful Sultana, the third and greatest of the Abdalrahmans constructed the city, palace, and gardens of Zehra. Twenty-five years, and above three millions sterling, were employed by the founder: his liberal taste invited the artists of Constantinople, the most skilful sculptors and architects of the age; and the buildings were sustained by twelve hundred columns of Spanish and African, of Greek and Italian marble. The hall of audience was incrusted with gold and pearls, and a great bason in the centre was surrounded with the curious and costly figures of birds and quadrupeds.” The streets and houses at this place are hollowed out of the rock, which stands 1200 feet above them. 122. Whether we contemplate the materials furnished by Babylon and its neighbourhood, the dismantled towns of Syria, or the abundant ruins of Egypt, and from Tripoli to the Atlantic, it is curious, as the historian of the western Arabs has remarked, to observe that no people constructed, without recourse to the quarry, so many magnificent edifices. In Spain, this was most remarkably the case, whereof the reader will be convinced by reference to Murphy's Arabian Antiquities, and Laborde's Voyage Pittoresque de l'Espagne. 123. From the latter half of the eighth century to nearly the middle of the ninth, the progress of the Arabians in the sciences was wonderful. Their merit, however, in the art which it is our province to investigate, was of a class inferior to that of the people who invented and carried into execution, though later, the principles which regulated the stupendous monuments of Gothic architecture in Europe. They certainly understood the science of architecture; and works on it were written for the benefit of those whose occupations led them to take an interest in the art. 124. We regret that our limits do not permit us to dwell on the progress in the sciences made by the Arabians, though some of them are intimately connected with our subject. But the information we omit will be much more satisfactorily obtained by the reader consulting the pages of the historian of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Our purpose is now to present a concise view of the architecture of the Arabians from Laborde's Voyage Pittoresque de l'Espagne (vol. ii. part 1. xliii. et seq.); observing, by the way, that, from our own study of the subject, we are inclined fully to adopt it. In Spain there is a sufficient number of monuments of architecture to class them chronologically, and to assign an epoch to the different styles they exhibit. Though the species does not resemble that which has been denominated Gothic, which is clearly not an imitation, the one and the other sprung from the same source. The point of departure was the architecture of Byzantium, in which city, after the fall of Italy, a totally new style arose, whose development in different modes was the basis of all modern architecture. As though the Coliseum had furnished the hint, the immense edifices, in the style of the period, were constructed with a multiplicity of stories, - they were heavy without, though lightly and richly decorated within; the artists employed in their erection seeming to aim at a transference to the architecture and sculpture on which they were engaged of the oriental profusion of ornament visible in the stuffs of India. This Byzantine school produced the Lombard and E 2