By Gastinus Florus, Masons' Guild Historian
Soaring and graceful, or static and repetitive: High Elf architecture divides Imperial critics much like a painted cow at a Reachmen feast. Their curved gables and strong, pointed steeples emphasize height, with ceilings a giant would have trouble scraping his head on and rooftops stretching proudly up toward the firmament. Their structures provide a visual echo to the "High Elves'" appearance, as they try to contrast their structures with the abodes of other races.
The more perceptive of historians (such as Cantaber Congonius of Skingrad) have discerned clear similarities when comparing settlements of the Altmeri and Ayleid, unmistakably because they share the same ancestors. Where the Ayleids departed Summerset Isle, the Altmer remained; yet their structures share many common elements. One only need walk the ruins near Bravil, then compare paintings of Skywatch for corroboration. Subtle changes are less obvious: while the Altmer are snobbish, they never sank to Ayleid levels of perniciousness, and the more refined buildings of Auridon reflect this.
Such structural designs stem from ancient roots, using methods tried and tested, but not to the point of becoming obsolete. The Altmer seek refinement rather than innovation, and they are conceitedly resistant to large-scale changes but are content to tinker. The results reveal highly sophisticated precision, harmony, and the selection and repetition of orthodox compositions.