Quito: 2011 American Capital Of Culture

Nearly our entire group chose an organized tour of Quito on our rest day. I’m sure glad I did.

The Basilica was built in the late 1800s, a time when virtually all Ecuadorans were Catholic. The President in 1884 decided that the heart of Ecuador should be dedicated to Jesus. Each of the 24 states were instructed to build a chapel in the Basilica. It sounds as though the people of some states thought that there should be separation of church and state. Many of the chapel spaces still have nothing in them. This is a sharp contrast to those that were finished.

Since we’ve been in Ecuador, I’ve noticed many, uniformed, school children. It’s great to see the next generation getting good educations and looking so promising.

A Quito Police Suzuki 650, only slightly different than our bikes, was parked outside the Vice-Presidential office.

Around the time of Christ, the original people called Quitos were living in this area. In 1450, the Incas invaded and mingled with the locals. Quito was established by the Spanish in 1534. In 1822, Ecuador gained independence. The monument in the square outside the Presidential office shows an Andean Condor, their national bird, with a piece of broken chain in its mouth. At the base, a lion, the symbol of Spain, has a sword protruding from its shoulder. This is to symbolize the country’s independence from the rule of Spain.

Our final building to visit was the Jesuit Church. Over 200 kilograms of gold leaf cover its carved wood details. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed. I would have taken dozens. The image you’re seeing is the altar area taken from a postcard. In real life, it is magnificent.

Ecuador, the rose export capital of the world, enjoys some of them itself. At our hotel, bouquets of 100s of roses decorated the common areas.

2-Mar Quito Ecuador

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One Response to “Quito: 2011 American Capital Of Culture”

  1. Dale and Cindy Leppo says:

    Cathy, Our daughter was in Quito about 15 years ago. She loved it, and now I see why. It looks like your trip continues to bring fresh adventures in every country. We hope that you and Larry are back riding together soon! Best wishes to all, Dale and Cindy.

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