Quito; Cultural Heritage of Humanity
September, 4th, 2018
Moisés Vivas Luna
Because of its natural, geographic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic wealthy, Quito was the first cultural World Heritage site and the second overall after the Galapagos Islands. In 1978 UNESCO declared the historic center of Quito a World Cultural Heritage of Humanity, thus recognizing its cultural and historic value, in particular the fact that it represents the largest historic city center in Latin America.
Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and standing at an altitude of 2,850 m. Quito rises as the Capital city of Ecuador and the second largest city of the country, it spreads along the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano and is bordered by the hills of Panecillo and Ichimbia proudly possesses one of the most extensive and best-preserved historic centres of Spanish America. The entire protected area spans 320 hectares in land area.
Beside its amazing landscape, Quito is known for its treasures of colonial churches, paintings, sculptures and carvings. Ecuadorian colonial art combines the European Renaissance and Baroques styles with indigenous influences, The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.
The city of Quito forms a harmonious ensemble where nature and man are brought together to create a unique and transcendental work. The colonizers knew how to adapt their artistic sensibility to the reality that surrounded them, building their architecture in a very complex topographical environment.
By the 18th century, Quito and most of Ecuador was under control of Spanish Empire. Like other colonies of Spain, the Roman Catholicism was established in the city. In fact, the first church in Ecuador was established in Quito even before the city was officially founded. Although the independence from Spain occurred in 1809, the marked impact that Spanish influence carried for centuries prevailed within people so that is why many aspects of it are deeply embedded into the culture and way of life in Quito. Even to this day, those influences are still evident and is a huge part of the locals’ daily life.
Quito is undoubtedly a City full of art, history, culture and awesome architecture. The authenticity of the city along with the integrity which represents the intact conservation along decades makes of Quito a really magical City.