Quito Historic center declared Mankind Heritage in 1978 by UNESCO, compose with more than 300 blocks of colonial houses with 200 or 400 years history, are amazing to be discover, the Quito Historic Center shown's genuine architecture jewels like la Compañía church, The Quito´s Cathedral, San Francisco Convent, Santo Domingo and more Quito temples.

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Quito Colonial Art and Churches, Quito Historic Center


Quito's Historic Center; with its ancient history and mystery, is only 22km away form the Equatorial Line. Inside the Metropolitan District, the cultural tourism is focused mainly in this area, and in the "Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the World City).

In the Mitad del Mundo lies down the Monument in honor of the French Geodesic Mission that appointed Ecuador as the middle of the world. There are incredible tours in which you can discover Quito's History.

Quito Historic Center guide, 300 blocks of history

Everyday of the year you have the opportunity to make tours to the Historic Center in the mornings, afternoons and even in the nights, were it will be perfect a ride in a carriage through the beautiful tight streets. The Historic Center is a marvelous place in which you will discover that history is froze in the temples and in its facades.

Quito's downtown has always been a place for commerce; this has kept it with live. Every house of the center is inhabited and there are plenty of shops.

Mountains, volcanoes and hills surround Quito; in the downtown you will appreciate wonderful landscapes and views. This is the perfect opportunity to take wonderful pictures.

Quito Historic center Churches and Convents

Quito's greatest treasures are its temples and convents, real samples of the mixture of Spanish and Indian culture. Here you will find a bit of information of each one:

Quito Useful Travel Links

Basílica del Voto Nacional in Quito Ecuador

Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito Ecuador

It is considered one of the most important pieces of the New-gothic architecture in Ecuador. It is located in the downtown, in the streets Carchi and Venezuela, next to the Convent of the Oblate's order.

It was built to recall the consecration of the Ecuadorian state to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, during the presidency of Gabriel Garcia Moreno in 1873. It has 115 meters of height and it is conformed by 24 internal chapels that represent the provinces of the country. This sanctuary was inaugurated and blessed by the Pope Juan Pablo II in its visit to Ecuador the 18 of January of 1985.

Its structure and style is compared with two of the great cathedrals worldwide: Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris. The Basilica del Voto Nacional is distinguished for the substitution of the classic gargoyles by reptiles and native amphibians of Ecuador.
The central body of the temple has 140 meters in length, 35m of wide and 30m of height; where 14 bronze images represent the 11 apostles and 3 evangelists.

Monday to Friday: 7h00 - 9h00 / 18h00 - 19h00
Fees: foreigners $2.oo, Ecuadorians: $1.oo, children and seniors $0.50
Religious Services - Mass:
Monday to Friday 7h00, 8h00, 18h30
Saturdays: 7h00 and 10h00
Sundays: 7h00 and 12h00

More Quito Information

La Merced Convent in Quito

The church of La Merced dates from the XVI century. The original structure was modified in XVIII, since the earthquakes had caused serious damages in the construction of the temple. It is located between the streets: Cuenca, Mejía, Imbabura and Chile.

In La Merced, art is shaped in wonderful oil paintings in fabric of the artist Víctor Mideros, who emphasizes in religious subjects. A beautiful English clock of 1817, installed in 1820, decorates the tower of the church. The infrastructure of the convent maintains its original appearance, conserving its the brickwork.

Monday to Friday: 6h30 - 11h30 / 15h00 - 18h30
Saturday: 9h00 - 11h00
Sunday: 6h00 - 13h00

The Quito Metropolitan Cathedral

The Cathedral church is one of the religious symbols of great importance and spiritual value, situated in the south flank of the Independence Plaza. Its construction began in 1562 and it was culminated in 1806.

In this church they are buried the mortal remains of Mariscal Sucre, and of several Presidents of the Republic, as well as those of bishops and priests. There are wonderful night tours in which you can get to the top of the church's highest dome, where you can discover the legends and mystery of "The Cathedral Rooster" (Gallo de la Cathedral). It is an unforgettable experience!

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San Diego Convent in Quito

In this convent works the Recoleta of the Franciscan's Cleric since the end of XVI century. In the XVII century, Friar Manuel Almeida lived in this place, if you like to discover his legend visit the following link, Friar Almeida. On August 16th of 1868 a fierce earthquake that destroyed the city of Ibarra and affected the city of Quito, injured very badly the convent of San Diego.

The reconstruction had to be financed with the sale of several lands that belonged to the destroyed convent of Otavalo and with the direct aid of the National Government. The restoration of the convent of San Diego was in charge of three organizations: the Central bank of Ecuador, the Franciscan Community and the Direction of National Artistic Patrimony of the House of the Culture.

One of the pieces of greater artistic quality of convent is the pulpit, decorated with small sculptures that formed a beautiful structure.

La Compañía Church SI in Quito

It is located between the streets García Moreno and Antonio Jose de Sucre. The construction of this church began in 1605, and it took 160 years. The work was made by natives who carefully shaped the baroque style in one of the most complete examples of the art in America.

The church was closed for 40 years in 1767, a cause of the expulsion of the Jesuits of the country. Its design was inspired in the Gesu's Church, of Rome, and their columns are a copy of the ones created by Bernini in the Vatican. In its interior, we found beautiful altarpieces, and pulpits covered with gold. Its facade is a real jewel, with symbols and figures in its entire frontal wall. You will be enchanted to discover "La Compania´s" mystery.

Inmaculada Conception Convent in Quito

The convent of the Immaculate Conception was funded in 1577 by nine nuns. This temple, belongs to the Franciscan Order, it is considered one of oldest of the city of Quito, and famous for its ample space and magnificent facilities.

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