This church was built for the remembrance on the outbursts of the Pinchincha Volcano. (Pinchincha means boiling mountain in Quechua).
In its tower is the biggest bell of Quito, it is the twin brother of the Big Ben of London.
This church is very beautifully decorated; unfortunately we were not allowed to enter this church as there was a classical concerto going on.
But naughty as we are, we slipped in via a side chapel, and we opened a small door and like this we could peep in and catch a glimp of the beautifully decorated interior.
Plaza de Independencia is really surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings.
If you go clockwise around the Plaza, you see the Cathedral, then The Presidential Palace, the Palace of the Archbishop and City hall.
This beautiful building was on the side of the Palace of the Archbishop (Palacio Arzobispal), but I a mot sure that it is the Palace. But anyway it is a wonderful building.
At the facade of the Presidential Palace there were many historical plates.
One of them was, to remember (or to honour) the arrival of Simon Bolivar.
The plate says that Simon de Bolivar arrived for the first time in Quito on June 16th in the year 1822.
Together with Antonio Jose Sucre, Simon de Bolivar played an important role in the history of many South American countries.
Once I did get permission to enter the entrance building, I could see Oswaldo Guyasamin's famous mural. On the other side you could see two beautiful patios through a fence.
There was an entrance which was also guarded and equipped with al kind of security equipment like metal detectors and so, but anyway I tried it, and went in the small office to ask if it was possible to enter in the patios, in order to make some pictures.
Unfortunately that was not possible, but they told me that I might make a picture through the fences.
So that is what I did, and the result a picture of beautiful patio in a typical Spanish style.
Well, I needed to try it. Indeed I did make a close-up of one of the National guards outside the Presidential Palace.
Like this you get a better view on the golden decorations on his hat.
And no, I did not go very close to make this picture; I made it with my big telelens.
Wow, what a great colourful uniform these guard are wearing.
They just look great with all that red, blue and gold.
Oh yes, I did ask permission to make these pictures. Especially, as it was impossible to make these pictures from a large distance, because of the location and the shade in the galleries. So you have to stand close to make such a picture.
And I believe that it is polite to ask permission to make a picture.
As the President does indeed works in this Presidential palace, it is easy to understand that the entrance is limited.
I is best to ask permission to the guards if you can enter the entrance building.
Inside this entrance building you can see the famous mural of Oswaldo Guyasamin. On this mural you see the trip that Francisco Orellana made through the Amazon area.
With your back against the Cathedral, and on the left hand side you see the Palacio de Gobierno, yes The Government Palace or the Presidential Palace.
This is the official office of the President.
At the Entry gate there are two beautifully uniformed guards.
Note that balconies in the gallery facing the Plaza de Independencia, are coming from France. These balconies are coming from Les Tuilleries in Paris, and they were sold by the French government shortly after the French Revolution.
You can't miss the entrance of this Cathedral.
Our guide book said that there was no entrance fee, but that was changed
Nowadays you have to pay 1.50 US$ to enter this church, but you get a guided tour.
This guided tour gives you lots of information on this church, the history and the pieces of art. For us it was a bit too much, and also we did not like to spend too much time in one church, as there was still so much to discover in this beautiful city. That is why we left the guided group, and visited the Cathedral on our own.
A remarkable historic fact is that President Garcia Moreno died in this church; he was brought here after he was shot on the Plaza de Independencia.
There is also a small museum that shows religious clothing’s, religious writings and books and some silver pieces used in the church.
The Plaza de Independencia is dominated by the Cathedral. This cathedral is built from 1550 – 1562.
There are several beautiful paintings made by the Quito school.
In this Cathedral you find tomb of Antonio Jose de Sucre, brother in arms of Simon de Bolivar.
This Plaza de Independencia is also named Plaza Grande by the locals.
The ECH (Empressa Centro Historico) (the local tourist office) has its office at this Plaza. And they also organise guided walks in the historical centre of the city (start at 9h00)
It was great to walk over this central square, to sit on a bench and to watch the daily life of the local people.
In the middle of this Plaza there is the Independence statue, which is made of marble and bronze.
No problem if you have dirty shoes here, there are plenty of shoe shine boys.
This Plaza de Independencia is the real heart of the colonial city of Quito. This Plaza is surrounded with beautiful buildings.
This beautiful square is dominated by the Cathedral. Opposite the Cathedral you can see the Palacio Arzocbispal. There is also the Colonial Palacio de Gobierno with the guards at the entry gate. Another building you can’t miss is the new Municipal Alcaldia.