Quito, Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The Historic Center of Quito has a monumental, historical and cultural value that is, without a doubt, the main tourist attraction of the Capital of the Center of the World

(Source: Quito Turismo)

Quito is a city that is located in the heart of the Andes, surrounded by fabulous landscapes and prodigious mountains dominated by an impressive nature, the city is full of history, legends and unique experiences that conquer national and foreign visitors.

In 1978, Unesco declared Quito as the first Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, due to the existence of cultural and historical values ​​and for having one of the highest patrimonial densities of the historical centers of Latin America; and every April 18, the International Day of Monuments and Heritage Sites is celebrated worldwide.

We invite you to visit and learn about the magic and charm that the 370 hectares of the Historic Center of Quito keep, where there are 32 museums, 24 churches, 6 chapels, 7 convents, 6 monasteries, 13 squares and other places of interest that jealously guard their history. and traditions.

Among the main heritage sites of the Historic Center, the Basilica of the National Vow stands out, considered the largest neo-Gothic temple in America. The place was designed by the French architect Emilio Tarlier, who was inspired by the Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame. In 1884 he began the construction of this architectural jewel and 138 years later, it is still not finished. There is even a legend according to which "the day the Basilica is completed in its entirety, Ecuador would disappear as a free and sovereign state."

The magnificence of the Basilica is reflected in its 140 meters long by 35 meters wide and 30 meters high. The 24 votive chapels are 15 meters high and the two front towers are 115 meters high, making them an ideal place to take photographs of the city. As a curious fact, the gargoyles that are part of this construction represent the Ecuadorian fauna. During the visit you can see sculptures of alligators, turtles, boobies, armadillos, howler monkeys, pumas, among other animals.

Another of the important temples is the Church of La Compañía de Jesús, considered one of the most important expressions of Baroque architecture in the American continent and the world, due to the cover of its main temple, carved entirely in volcanic stone. The construction of this temple took 160 years, so four architectural styles can be distinguished: Mudejar or Moorish, Churrigueresque, Neoclassical and, the most dominant, Baroque.

The church, and its rich internal ornamentation, completely covered in gold leaf, is one of the city's major tourist attractions and an invaluable heritage, both artistic and economic. In addition, it is the setting for dream weddings that take advantage of the beauty of this temple to accompany the union of couples.

Also noteworthy is the Convent of San Francisco , the first Franciscan temple in the Royal Audience of Quito, and which boasts the privilege of being the largest architectural complex within the historic centers of all America, for which it is known as 'the Escorial of the New World'.

Thirteen cloisters, three churches, a large Atrium have been built on its three and a half hectares of surface, totaling approximately forty thousand square meters of construction. Inside the church there are more than 3,500 works of colonial art, of multiple artistic manifestations and varied techniques, especially those corresponding to the Quito School of Art, which was born precisely in this place.

The most outstanding monument of the Historic Center is La Virgen de El Panecillo, created in 1975 by seven thousand four hundred pieces, it is the largest representation of aluminum in the world and ranks 58 among the tallest images in the world, it is even taller than the image of El Cristo Redentor of Brazil.

The sculpture represents the Virgin Mary as described in the biblical book of Revelation: a woman with wings, a chain that captures the serpent under her feet and represents the beast. For this reason, in addition to the names of Virgin of Quito or Virgin of Legarda, this statue is also called Virgin of the Apocalypse.

The Historic Center becomes a mandatory stop for local, national and foreign tourists who want to know the magic and charm that the Capital of the Center of the World keeps and discover why its history begins in Quito.


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