Simple roofs in general use with a double slope are the " coupled rafter roofs," the rafters meeting at the highest point upon a horizontal ridge-piece which stiffens the framework and gives a level ridge-line.
The public buildings include the cathedral (1760), the government palace, the municipal palace, the episcopal palace, the church of Santa Ana, a national theatre, a school of arts and trades, a foreign hospital, the former administration building of the Canal Company, Santo Tomas Hospital, the pesthouse of Punta Mala and various asylums. The houses are mostly of stone, with red tile roofs, two or three storeys high, built in the Spanish style around central patios, or courts, and with balconies projecting far over the narrow streets; in such houses the lowest floor is often rented to a poorer family.
The buildings of the old town are chiefly of brick, from four to five storeys in height, with flat roofs, and other oriental peculiarities; while in the new town hewn stone is very largely employed, and the architecture is often of a modern English style.
" spindles," above the tombs near Amrit, have peculiarities of their own; some of them are adorned with lions at the base and with roofs of pyramidal shape.
Inside the ramparts the town lies rather cramped, with narrow, crooked streets, badly drained and dirty; the houses are generally built of dark grey volcanic stone with flat roofs, the general aspect, owing to the absence of trees, being somewhat gloomy.