Quito, that was founded in the XVI Century on the ruins of an Inca city, has the best-preserved colonial downtown in Latin America. It is located in the heart of the Andes and has a lot of monuments worth to be visited that were part of the Baroque style imported from Europe. So, if you are an art lover, you should include this marvelous city in your trip to Ecuador.
Baroque architecture was taken up with enthusiasm in the capital of Ecuador, but they developed their particular style. Quitena School created a Baroque fusion of Spanish, Flemish, Moorish and Italian art. This is a list of the best monuments of the Quito School of Art.
- San Francisco Church
The Catholic church has four main orders in Quito: Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and the Mercedaries. San Francisco Church is the most important of the first of these orders. The church has some aspects typically Romanesque, with the cloister, a court in the middle and the typical cells of the monasteries. It has a mannerist-baroque facade, and a typically baroque decoration inside, very rich and full of details. As a particularity of the Quitena School, there are some decorative influences of the Moorish art, like some columns and arches.
- The Metropolitan Cathedral
The catholic cathedral of Quito is another important monument of the Latin American History of Art. One of the best pieces is the major altar, said to be entirely of gold, that shows both Baroque and Moorish patterns.
- Santo Domingo Church
Located in the historic downtown of the capital of Ecuador, this church is another emblematic monument. It is valuable as an architectonic piece of art, but also because of its ornaments, paintings and sculptures. Visitors can see sculptures of the Quito School of Art in this church, like the Virgin of Legarda, made by Bernardo Legarda, a recognizable example of the artist’s work in “Escuela Quiteña”.
- La Compañía de Jesús
The Jesuit Church is considered by UNESCO the best religious architectural building in Latin America. This Baroque Church was built during the 17th Century. It has a cross latin floor and it is estimated that all the temple contains a total of 23 karats of gold. It was built for the Compañía de Jesus, one of the most important religious group inside the Catholic Church.
- La Merced Church
The Church of Mercy was originally built in the XVI Century, but it was partly destroyed with the earthquake of the XVII Century. It is said by the peregrins that the interior sculpture of the Virgin of Mercy has protected the city from the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
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