One of the most distinctive features of Mexican architecture is the brilliant use of contrasting surface colors and textures—a trait traceable back to pre-hispanic structures that was further developed early in colonial times and has continued to the present day.
striking technique employed by colonial architects and designers
to achieve such effects, in metropolitan and provincial buildings
alike, was the juxtaposing of native black or dark red basalt, known
as tezontle, with smooth, light-colored limestone, called
chiluca or simply cantera.
The rough volcanic tezontle
was generally used for plain wall surfaces, while the finer textured
limestone, more amenable to the stonecarver's chisel, was reserved
for sculpted doorways, windows and other architectural decoration
which contrasted with the darker background.
We continue the review of our favorite colonial buildings in Aguascalientes with the venerable Palacio del Gobierno: