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Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, Quito

Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, Quito (must see)

Located on the southern side of La Plaza Grande, the Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, known simply as la Catedral, serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quito. It is considered to be one of the oldest cathedrals in South America.

It has two entrances: one is part of the nave facing La Plaza Grande and the other is at the west facade facing Garcia Moreno street. Ravines prevented the main facade from facing the plaza, as is customary in Spanish city design. Artwork by an artist of the Quito School of Art adorns the interior. The main altar is designed in Baroque style, while the exterior is orthodox Spanish. The Cathedral impresses because of its white walls, its dome made of glazed green ceramic, the arch of Carondelet and the foliated staircase that comes down to Plaza Grande, articulating the Cathedral and the square. It also has three naves; the right nave opens out onto chapels crowned by domes with skylights. The roofs of the naves are supported by pointed arches. A wooden coffered ceiling lies on a golden frieze and beautiful paintings hang among the arches.

The Cathedral has Gothic features in the pointed arches of the naves. Plaques on the outside walls commemorate the launching point of Francisco de Orellana's expedition to the Amazon. The catacombs of the cathedral serve as a resting place to many important figures in Ecuador's history, such as independence leader Antonio José de Sucre. The small altar of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores has a plaque showing where Gabriel García Moreno was shot in 1875.

Why You Should Visit:
There are a lot of beautiful churches in Quito and some with more gold than this; however, there are two main reasons why you must come here.
First, the Nativity scene – it has a Spanish horse and an alpaca. Secondly, the Last Supper, which has a cuy (guinea pig) as the centerpiece.

For a quick fun adventure, get the ticket which includes the domes ($6) and enjoy some seriously claustrophobic short passages up to the roof providing great views across town.
Also, a few really well-priced craft stores in the cathedral are selling alpaca scarves and clothes – you'll regret not buying whilst there as you'll never see better prices.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Quito, Ecuador within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Catedral Metropolitana de Quito on Map

Sight Name: Catedral Metropolitana de Quito
Sight Location: Quito, Ecuador
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Quito, Ecuador

Create Your Own Walk in Quito

Create Your Own Walk in Quito

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quito is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums Tour

Museums Tour

San Francisco de Quito, or Quito for short, is the capital of Ecuador. The city is home to a range of different museums that give a great insight into the history of Ecuador and its people. The most important centers deal with colonial history, an era that left a strong mark on contemporary Ecuador. Take our Museums Walking Tour to catch the best museums with collections to educate and entertain...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

A former Spanish colony, Quito is home to literally dozens of Catholic churches. The Spaniards brought their faith with them to Ecuador and built many fantastic churches and cathedrals, one of which pre-dates even the city itself. Take our Religious Sites Walking Tour to see to the most magnificent and impressive houses of worship in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Quito Introduction Walk

Quito Introduction Walk

Nestled high in the Andes, Ecuador's capital Quito is deservedly nicknamed "the City in the Clouds". Adding to its unique landscape is the fact that Quito rests on the foundations of an ancient Incan city. The historic center of Quito preserves much its colonial past manifested in 16th-17th-century buildings featuring a blend of European, Moorish and indigenous styles. This...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles