Quito-Ecuador: The Real Jewel of the Andes
The city of Quito and its historical, cultural, and natural attractions are a real jewel in the Andes. Learn more about them here!
Quito Jewel of the Andes
The pre-Incan name of the city coincides with a series of astronomical phenomena visible from the area and its the nearby valleys, creating a zone of special interest for astronomy. The impact of these phenomena is so deep and strong that there are several archaeological remains near Quito, where the observation of events associated with the sun, moon, and stars have mathematical precision.
All these references date from at least 700 or 800 years before the arrival of the Incas. In fact, according to historical sources, the civilization moved their empire towards the north on purpose, towards the exact point where the sun did not have shade.
The Spanish conquistadores took advantage of native construction and astronomical knowledge to create unique architecture as they took over the land of Quito. A symbiosis of Andean and European techniques resulted in what has been called baroque art, which was embodied in the construction of buildings that are part of the Historic Center of Quito, declared by UNESCO in 1978 as Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Spanish conquest marked the history of the city of Quito in many ways. In addition to architecture, the Escuela de Arte Quiteña (Quito Art School) was here born, forming artisans who elaborated religious art that astonished the world. Paintings, sculptures, altarpieces, among other works, can be seen in churches, convents, and museums that exhibit the splendor of an era of worship of the Catholic religion (XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries).
Quito is also an eminently political city. Here was the first cry of Spanish independence. In 1809, indigenous and mestizo leaders (the latter a mixture of indigenous and Spanish blood) fought to achieve independence from the Spanish colony. Years of struggle finally led to the constitution of the Republic of Ecuador in 1830. This struggle was taken as an example by other nations and made Quito known as the “Luz de América.”
With the passage of time, the pace of the economy made Quito a true metropolis. It currently has a population of approximately 2 million inhabitants, with three areas perfectly marked: the north, the modern area; the center, the largest colonial hub of America; and the south, where most of the population lives and the industrial zone is located.
This city is the political center of Ecuador, housing all the public institutions of the national government. It is the soul of Ecuadorian bureaucracy and the meeting point of the country’s accredited international organizations .