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The design for the open-air churches of sixteenth-century Mexico is one of the most original and unorthodox conceptions of church architecture ever accepted for widespread use. The unusual social, economic, and physical problems faced by a few hundred friars in their ministry to millions of Indians, led to strikingly unconventional solutions. The author explains the peculiar functions of these open-air churches and shows the influences in architectural design of Spanish renaissance, gothic, and Moorish, and of Aztec artistic traditions. All the monuments are considered and special sections are devoted to each of the most notable buildings. There are a large number of excellent illustrations.