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Alexander von Humboldt: „Humboldt’s History of New-Spain“, in: ders., Sämtliche Schriften digital, herausgegeben von Oliver Lubrich und Thomas Nehrlich, Universität Bern 2021. URL: <> [abgerufen am 17.04.2024].

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Titel Humboldt’s History of New-Spain
Jahr 1811
Ort Concord, Massachusetts
in: Concord Gazette 5:3 (18. Juni 1811), S. [4].
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua (mit lang-s); Spaltensatz.
Textnummer Druckausgabe: II.76
Dateiname: 1809-Voyage_de_MM-13-neu
Seitenanzahl: 1
Zeichenanzahl: 4617

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|4| From the Boston Gazette.

Humboldt’s Hiſtory of New-Spain.

“The vally in which the city of Mexicoſtands, is upwards of 6500 feet above the levelof the ſea. It is of an oval form, encompaſſedon all ſides by mountains. It contains ſeverallakes. The largeſt is ſalt. Formerly it ſur-rounded the city, which was approached onlyby cauſeways, conſtructed in the water. But,at preſent, the extent of this lake is diminiſhed,and the city is now on the land, at ſome diſ-tance from the water’s edge. The circum-ference of the valley is 67 leagues. “Mexico is undoubtedly one of the fineſt cit-ies ever built by Europeans in either hemi-ſphere. With the exception of Peterſburgh,Berlin, Philadelphia, and ſome quarters inWeſtminſter, there does not exiſt a city of theſame extent, which can be compared to thecapital of New-Spain, for the uniform level ofthe ground on which it ſtands, for the regulari-ty and breadth of the ſtreets, and the extent ofthe public places. The architecture is gener-ally of a very pure ſtyle, and there are evenedifices of very beautiful ſtructure. The exte-rior of the houſes is not loaded with orna-ments. “The Balluſtrades and gates are all of Biſcayiron, ornamented with bronze, and the houſes,inſtead of roofs, have terraces like thoſe inItaly, and other ſouthern countries. “Mexico has been very much embelliſhed,ſince the reſidence of the abbe Chappe there in1769. The edifice deſtined to the School ofMines, for which the richeſt individuals of thecountry furniſhed a ſum of more than threemillions of francks, would adorn the principalplaces of Paris or London. Two great palaces[hotels] were recently conſtructed by Mexicanartiſts, pupils of the academy of fine arts of thecapital. One of theſe palaces, in the quarterdella Traſpana, exhibited in the interior of acourt a very beautiful oval periſtyle of coupledcolumns. The traveller justly admires a vaſtcircumference, paved with porphyry flags, andencloſed with an iron railing, richly ornament-ed with bronze, containing an equeſtrian ſtat-ue of king Charles the fourth, placed on apedeſtal of Mexican marble, in the midſt of thePlaza Major of Mexico, oppoſite the cathedral,and the viceroy’s palace. However, it muſtbe agreed, that notwithſtanding the progreſs ofthe arts, within theſe laſt thirty years, it ismuch leſs, from the grandeur and beauty of themonuments, than from the breadth and ſtrait-neſs of the ſtreets, and much leſs from its edifi-ces, than from its uniform regularity, its ex-tent and poſition, that the capital of NewSpain attracts the admiration of Europeans. “Nothing can preſent a more rich and vari-ed appearance, than the valley, when, in a fineſummer morning, the ſky without a cloud, andof that deep azure which is peculiar to the dryand rarefied air of high mountains, we tranſ-port ourselves the top of one of the towersof the cathedral of Mexico, or aſcend the Hillof Chapoltepeck. A beautiful vegetation ſur-rounds this hill. Old cypreſs trunks, of morethan 15 and 16 metres in circumference, raiſetheir naked heads above thoſe of the ſchinuswhich reſemble, in their appearance, the weep-ing willows of the eaſt. From the centre ofthis ſolitude, the ſummit of the porphyriticalrock of Chapoltpeck, the eye ſweeps over avaſt plain of carefully cultivated fields, whichextend to the very feet of the coloſſal mountainscovered with perpetual ſnow. The city ap-pears as if washed by the waters of the lake ofTezeuco, whoſe baſin, ſurrounded with vil-lages and hamlets, brings to mind the moſtbeautiful lakes of the mountains of Switzer-land. Large avenues of elms and poplars leadin every direction, to the capital; and twoacqueducts, conſtructed over arches of verygreat elevation, croſs the plain, and exhibitan appearance equally agreeable and intereſt-ing. The magnificent convent of Nueſtra Sor-nora de Guadaloupe, appears joined to themountains of Teypeyacack, among ravines,which ſhelter a few date and young yucca trees.Towards the ſouth, the whole tract betweenSan Angel, Tacabaya, and San Augustin delas Cuevas, appears an immenſe garden of or-ange, peach, apple, cherry, and other Europe-an fruit trees. This beautiful cultivation formsa ſingular contraſt with the wild appearance ofthe naked mountains which encloſe the valleysamong which the famous volcanos of La Pueb-la, Popocatepetl, and Iztaccicichuatl are themoſt diſtinguiſhed. The firſt of theſe formsan enormous cone, of which the crater, continu-ally inflamed, and throwing up ſmoak and aſh-es, opens in the midſt of eternal ſnows.”