Colonial architecture

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Danish Fort Dansborg at Tranquebar, built by Ove Gedde in 1620.

Colonial architecture is a hybrid architectural style that arose as colonists combined architectural styles from their country of origin with design characteristics of the settled country. Colonists frequently built houses and buildings in a style that was familiar to them but with local characteristics more suited to their new climate.[1] Below are links to specific articles about colonial architecture, specifically the modern colonies:

Spanish colonial architecture[edit]

Spanish colonial architecture is still found in the former colonies of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and in the Philippines. In Mexico, it is found in the Historic center of Mexico City, Puebla, Zacatecas, Querétaro, Guanajuato, and Morelia. Antigua Guatemala in Guatemala is also known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial style architecture. Other cities known for Spanish colonial heritage are Ciudad Colonial of Santo Domingo, the ports of Cartagena, Colombia, and Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

North America
Under construction for more than two centuries, the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is a mixture of three styles that predominated during the colonial era: Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic.
South America

Portuguese colonial architecture[edit]

Church of Santo António;
b. 1498, Mozambique

Portuguese colonial architecture is most visible in Brazil, Madeira, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Macau, the Malaysian city of Malacca, city of Goa in India, and Moluccas and Java in Indonesia.

British colonial architecture[edit]

Morgan House is a classic example of colonial Victorian era architecture in Kalimpong, India.
Westover Plantation, an example of Georgian architecture on the eastern James River, in Virginia

British colonial architecture are most visible in North America, the British West Indies, South Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

French colonial architecture[edit]

Gabriel Peyreaux House in New Orleans, built circa 1780 It is an example of poteaux-sur-solle construction.

French colonial architecture is most visible in North America and Indochina.

Dutch colonial architecture[edit]

Toko Merah, an 18th-century Dutch colonial landmark in Jakarta, shows a typically Dutch high sash windows with split shutters.

Dutch colonial architecture is most visible in Indonesia (especially Java and Sumatra), the United States, South Asia, and South Africa. In Indonesia, formerly Dutch East Indies, colonial architecture was studied academically and had developed into a new tropical architecture form which emphasizes on conforming to the tropical climate of the Indies and not completely imitating the architectural language of the Dutch colonists.

Italian colonial architecture[edit]

Italian colonial architecture is visible in Libya which was colonized by Italy after defeating the Ottoman Army in 1912 during the Italo-Turkish War with huge colonial architecture in the capital Tripoli and in other major cities like Benghazi and Misrata.

Eritrea an Italian colony from 1890 to 1941 when the British occupied it during world war 2 with prominent colonial architecture spanning from styles like Art Deco to Neoclassical architecture spread out from the capital Asmara to the smaller towns of Karen with Italian colonial architecture even being a huge tourist attraction of the country.

Somalia was an Italian colony from 1889 to 1941 and again from 1950 to 1960, like Eritrea Italian colonial architecture was spread out across the country in different architectural styles but with the civil war of 1991 and years of violence after most of the Italian colonial architecture being destroyed or decayed with nowadays only a few buildings existing such as the Vila Somalia where the president resides.

The Greek islands of the Dodecanese which was won over during the Italo - Turkish war like Libya with the largest city of the island Rhodes being built entirely by the Italian colonists and its main government buildings also being built by the Italian colonists.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guaita, Ovidio (1999). On distant shores: colonial houses around the world. Monacelli Press. ISBN 9781580930512. Retrieved January 26, 2014. world colonial architecture.

External links[edit]