San Antonio de Padua, Izamal, Yucatan, 16th Century
This historic Franciscan monastery was founded in 1549. Fray Juan de Merida designed this enormous complex in the austere style typical of Franciscan monasteries of the period. Fray Diego de Landa (later to become Bishop of the Yucatan, the severe inquisitor famous for his destruction of countless Maya texts) directed the construction which began in 1553. Built on the foundations of a Maya temple with stones from that same temple, the monastery was completed by 1561. The atrium, largest in the Americas, is bounded on three sides by arcades added in the 17th century.