Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday in Quito

A very pleasant day in Quito – sunny and I would guess the temp was in the high 70’s.  The historic center of Quito was our destination, and it was bueno. We visited four churches, two museums, an art exhibition and perused two buildings (somewhat) – all situated for the most part along three plazas.

Reviewing the churches  (iglesias) – we visited Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesùs (Church of the Society of Jesus – aka Jesuits), Iglesia y convent de San Francisco (Church and convent of St Francis), Iglesia del Sagrario (Church of the Sacrarium) and Iglesia y convent of Santa Domingo (Church and convent of Saint Dominic).  All were built in colonial times (the Church of San Francisco was started in 1540) – are immense with mostly Roman Arches and the interiors are gilded with some gold.  The Jesuit church is amazing in that aspect.  Of course, one is asked to not take pictures in the interior.  The churches are all actively being used.  I am always amazed at what true believers will do.

We visited the museum at the convent of San Francisco (religious art from the colonial times) and the City Museum (Museo de la Ciudad).  The city museum gave a historical look at the people of Quito – but was much focused on the colonial times. 

The art exhibit at the Metropolitan Cultural Center (on the corner of Independence Plaza) was of an artist by the name of Pintu who had painted a picture of the Plaza of San Francisco in 1859. The church and convent are readily identifiable but the activities in the plaza are representative of that time. Interesting

The Presidential Palace and the home of the archbishop of Ecuador were situated on Independence Plaza.  Tours were open for the Presidential Palace but it was only cursory looking in to the first courtyard.
Julie would like to add some bad and good news. First for the bad news – Chardonnay wine seems to be non-existent here.  Now for the good news – she spoke five complete Spanish sentences and the listeners understood what she said, with the most important sentence being a request to the taxi driver to pick us up at this location at 3:00 PM.  He arrived!

On to Cuenca tomorrow

View of Independence Plaza from balcony of Presidential Palace

View of Presidential Palace with Ecuadorean flag flying above

View of courtyard of archbishop's home

View of Santo Domingo Plaza with evidence of recent fire in two hotels in the background

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