Churches in Quito



Basilica del Voto Nacional


This temple is one of the most important works of the neo-gothic in the Ecuadorian architecture. It is located in the Downtown amongst "Carchi" and "Venezuela " streets next to "Oblatos" convent. The church was inaugurated in 1985 by the pope John Paul II and was constructed in honor to the anniversary of the consecration of Ecuador to the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" in 1873. This church is 115 meters high and is composed by 24 chapels which represent the province of the country.

 

The basilica is similar to San Patricio Cathedral in New York and Notre Dame in Paris; but this temple has a peculiar feature since the traditional gargoyles in the temples of New York and Paris, here are replaced by reptile and amphibian natives from Ecuador. The central nave of the temple is 140 meters long, 35 wide, 30 high and inside it there are 14 figures of bronze which represent 11 apostles and 3 evangelists. Besides, there is a wonderful view of the city from its towers. The building has also a medical center, a handcraft store and a dining for elderly. The temple is opened to tourists from Monday to Friday from 7:00-9:00 and 18:00-19:00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30-17:30. Admission for foreign tourists costs $2.


Basilica of the National Vote in Quito

The Cathedral

 

This is the main temple in Ecuador and was constructed between 1562 and 1565. In that time, its walls were made of adobe and the roof was of thatch nevertheless; the church has been modified several times mainly in XVII and XVIII centuries when the biggest modifications were made. Now the church is made of stone and has an impressive atrium which is along the north side; in addition to the cathedral has a big dome of neoclassical style, that divide the atrium in two. The temple owns besides, a great collection of religious art, inside it there are beautiful works of famous artists like Bernardo Rodriguez, Manuel Samaniego, pictures of the Art School of Quito (one of the most prestigious school of art in America in the colonial period) as well as wonderful sculptures, like the Virgin made by Legarda.


Cathedral of Quito

San Francisco


It is an impressive religious complex which was the first religious building constructed in South America by Spanish conquerors. Its construction began around 1536 and finished in 1605. The church's atrium occupies a whole side of the St. Francisco square, nevertheless the architecture and the decoration of the temple is quite austere as the most of the building that belong to the Franciscan. The columns of the temple have style Doric or Ionic, which were very common when it constructed the building. There are some statues carved in stone like the sculptures of St. Peter, St. Paul and above them the statue of Christ.


The church saves also some famous pieces of art like the figure of San Antonio de Padua made by the great artist Capiscara. The high altar is made of silver and is dedicated to San Francisco de Asis. This church is opened to the public from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 11:00 and 15:00 to 18:00.


San Francis Church in Quito

La Compañ­a de Jesús

 

It is one of the richest temples in South America, its construction began around 1605 and it lasts until the last third of the XVIII century when the Jesuits were expulsed by the Spanish crown. The facade of baroque style is composed by 6 Salomonic columns beautifully carved. The high altar is whole covert by amazing decorations many of them made of silver and is crowned with a diadem held by angels. Besides, there are sculptures made by Legarda which represent to St. Francis and St. Ignacio de Loyola. The ceilings and the walls are decorated with Moorish ornamentation.



La Merced


This building is an amazing convent made of stone whose church is the biggest in the city. Its towers have certain attributes of Arabic style. The original church was constructed in XVI century but it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1660. The construction of the actual building began in 1701 and ended around 1736. The church is dedicated to Virgin of the Merced who occupies the high altar. The temple saves many pieces of art amongst paintings and sculptures; the most notorious are the figures of the four evangelists carved on its base. Besides, the church owns the oldest clock in the city and one of the oldest libraries in America.

 

Santo Domingo


The construction of this temple began in 1580 and ended around 1650, the church has also a chapel dedicated to the Rosario Virgin: the altar of this chapel has a Rococo style and it is decorated with some pieces of gold. The church maintains its original splendor which has some Moorish details. There is a beautiful sculpture of the Maria Virgin that was gift by the King Charles V of Spain. You can visit the church from Monday to Friday from 15:00 to 17:00

 

San Agustin


The built of this church was finished around 1669 but the construction began in 1606 and the first plans were made in 1580 by the Spanish architect Francisco Becerra. The high altar was brought from Rome. There are inside many paintings made by Miguel de Santiago about the life of St. Agustí­n.

 

Santuario de Guapulo


It is situated near Tumbaco Valley at north of Quito in the town named Guapulo and is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe whose figure was made by the famous sculptor Diego de Robles. The church dates from 1596 and has the usual Latin-cross form of the Colonial Spanish churches. Its style is neoclassical and austere since almost there are not ornaments.

 

El Sagrario


It is next to the cathedral, this beautiful church dates from the first third of the XVIII century. Its decoration is a typical work of the famous artist Legarda and its architectonical design made by Gabriel de Escorza Escalante is whole neoclassical. The temple has a harmonious mixture of Ionic and Corinthian columns. The highlight is the screen made by Legarda which is a masterpiece of art, there are also many frescos about biblical scenes.

 

Cantuña


It is called the Sistine Chapel of Quito, this church was gift by the Franciscans to the Guild of painters and sculptors, therefore it saves many of the most beautiful works of art of Ecuador (paintings and sculptures) including several pieces of Legarda, Capiscara and Alcantara. One of the most notorious pieces is the statue of St Luke , probably the most beautiful sculpture carved in wood made in Quito. Also it highlights the central altar which is an amazing carved work made by Legarda.


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