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Plaza Grande, Quito, Ecuador, 2015[open in full screen]  

 
 

Plaza de la Indepenedcia [or Plaza Grande] is the nucleus of the Historical Centre. It is even larger than the previous Plaza San Francisco. Here you will be able to appreciate the daily dynamics of many inhabitants of Quito. It was not the first public square of the city, but, from 16th century it has been a rallying point and scene of legend and chronicles of Quito. The square is flanked by the Carondelet Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipal Palace and the Palacio Hidalgo later converted to the first Quito's hotel Plaza Grande.

To the sides and under the Cathedral you will find cafeterias and wonderful craft store and a very traditional barber's shop.

  Plaza's main feature is the monument to the independence heroes of 1809, date of the First Cry of Independence from Spanish monarchy.

After many petitions by the municipal authorities, Ecuadorian President ordered the construction of this monument. A French sculpture was commissioned in 1898 and placed in the centre of the square, replacing the fountain which was moved to the southwest. In a public ceremony in 1906, the President and Mayor unveiled the "Independence Monument" and changed the colonial name Plaza Grande to Plaza de la Independencia.

Since then only minor changes have been made in the square, which retains its centrality in the national consciousness.

  The palm trees and flowers in the plaza and the number of people that constantly congregate here give the area a peaceful, yet energetic atmosphere.

Of course, similar to many other "ceremonial" squares over the world, it is a place for important gatherings, celebrations, protests and strikes [as noticeable on few photos 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 and description by
Ken Grunberg & Una Janicijevic,
VR by urbansquares

 
           
   
more about
evaluation method
more about
types of squares
sociability
10
ceremonial
x
uses & activities
10
religious
x
access & linkages
10
social
x
comfort
9
residential
x
image
10
court yard
x
tourist value
10
with park
x
total
59
street, shopping
x
 
           
       
           
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Last time updated on July 10, 2017 17:26