Plaza san Francisco, Quito, Ecuador, 2015

Plaza San Francisco is an enormous and slightly somber space, with no benches or trees. Melancholy is emphasized with the grand proportions of the Iglesia y Monasteria de San Francisco (San Francisco Church and Monastery). The style of the church evolved over almost 150 years of construction (1534-1680) through earthquakes and changes in artistic fashion. The Church houses the city's beloved Virgin of Quito (1734). It is a bit dark inside, but the main altar is worth the visit with a carving of the Virgen of Quito. Main reason for elevated location of the church from the rest of the square is that it was built on top of ancient Incan ruins Tianguiz, including Emperor Atahualpa’s (1497-1533) palace, the quarters of his generals Quisquís and Calicuchima and market that had enormous strategic and historical significance for the indigenous people that Franciscans wanted to evangelize.

The Museo de San Francisco next door is full of artwork from the Quito school. Numerous other buildings all constructed during colonial times are surrounding the square, among others Palacio Gargotena, in 2011 converted to the one of the most important Quito hotels.

Lower level of the church complex is accommodating huge market with local craft in very exciting underground space [please see photos right and bellow].

On the map to the right the locations of Quito squares in our collection are marked, along with direct links to all of them.

*** Photos by Ken Grunberg & Una Janicijevic,
VR by urbansquares

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sociability
9
ceremonial
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uses & activities
10
religious
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access & linkages
10
social
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comfort
8
residential
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image
9
court yard
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tourist value
10
with park
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total
56
street, shopping
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urban squares initiative by aleksandar janicijevic is licensed under a creative commons attribution-share alike 2.5 canada license.

Last time updated on Monday, March 30, 2015, 12:47 PM