Quito

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Quito
Capital city
San Francisco de Quito
From top: El Panecillo, Calle La Ronda, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, Carondelet Palace, Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco, Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, Parque La Carolina and Modern Quito
From top: El Panecillo, Calle La Ronda, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, Carondelet Palace, Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco, Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, Parque La Carolina and Modern Quito
Flag of Quito
Flag
Official seal of Quito
Seal
Nickname(s): Luz de América (Light of America), Carita de Dios (God's Face), Ciudad de los Cielos (City of the heavens)
Quito is located in Ecuador
Quito
Quito
Location of Quito within Ecuador
Coordinates: 00°15′00″S 78°35′00″W / 0.25000°S 78.58333°W / -0.25000; -78.58333Coordinates: 00°15′00″S 78°35′00″W / 0.25000°S 78.58333°W / -0.25000; -78.58333
Country Ecuador
Province Pichincha
Canton Quito
Foundation December 6, 1534
Founded by Sebastián de Benalcázar
Named for Quitu
Urban parishes
Government
 • Type Mayor and council
 • Governing body Municipality of Quito
 • Mayor Mauricio Rodas Espinel
Areaapprox.
 • Capital city 372.39 km2 (143.78 sq mi)
 • Water 0 km2 (0 sq mi)
 • Metro 4,217.95 km2 (1,628.56 sq mi)
Elevation 2,850 m (9,350 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Capital city 1,619,146
 • Density 4,300/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 2,239,191
 • Metro density 530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
 • Demonym Quiteño(-a)
Time zone ECT (UTC-5)
Postal code EC1701 (new format), P01 (old format)
Area code(s) (0)2
Website www.quito.gob.ec

Quito (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkito]), formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters above sea level), it is the highest official capital city in the world.[1] (La Paz, the de facto capital of Bolivia, is higher.) It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha,[2] an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 2,671,191 according to the last census (2014), Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of the Metropolitan District of Quito. The canton recorded a population of 2,239,191 residents in the 2010 national census. In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.[3]

The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.[4] Quito, along with Kraków, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.[4] The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word ecuador is Spanish for equator.

History[edit]

Pre-Columbian[edit]

Quito's origins date back to the first millennium, when the Quitu tribe occupied the area and eventually formed a commercial center. According to Juan de Velasco's 1767 book Historia del Reino de Quito, the Quitu were conquered by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom of Quito about 980 AD. For more than four centuries, Quito was ruled under the kings (shyris).

Caras and their allies were narrowly defeated in the epic battles of Tiocajas and Tixán in 1462, by an army of 250,000 led by Túpac Inca, the son of the Emperor of the Incas. After several decades of consolidation, the Kingdom of Quito became integrated into the Incan Empire. In 1534, the Caras/Quitu people were conquered by the Spanish.

Colonial period[edit]

Artwork that shows the city in the mid-18th century.
Map dated 1786, showing the city of Quito in the late 18th century. North is to the right.

Indigenous resistance to the Spanish invasion continued during 1534, with Diego de Almagro founding Santiago de Quito (in present day Colta, near Riobamba) on August 15, 1534, later to be renamed San Francisco de Quito on August 28, 1534. The city was later moved to its present location and was refounded on 6 December 1534 by 204 settlers led by Sebastián de Benalcázar, who captured Rumiñahui and effectively ended any organized resistance.[5] Rumiñahui was then executed on January 10, 1535. On March 14, 1541, Quito was declared a city and on February 14, 1556, was given the title Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de San Francisco de Quito ("Very Noble and Loyal City of San Francisco of Quito"), starting at this point its urban evolution. In 1563, Quito became the seat of a Real Audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, until 1717 after the Audiencia was part of a newly created Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada. Its administration on both Viceroyalties remained to Quito. (see Real Audiencia de Quito)

As with other places colonized by the Spanish, the colonizers promptly established Roman Catholicism in Quito. The first church (El Belén) was in fact built even before the city had been officially founded. In January 1535, the San Francisco Convent was constructed, the first of about 20 churches and convents built during the colonial period. The Spanish converted the indigenous population to Christianity and used them as labor for construction.[citation needed]

In 1809, after nearly 300 years of Spanish colonization, Quito was a city of about 10,000 inhabitants.[citation needed] On August 10, 1809, an independence movement from Spanish domination started in Quito. On that date, a plan for government was established that placed Juan Pío Montúfar as president with various other prominent figures in other positions of government. However, this initial movement was ultimately defeated on August 2, 1810, when colonial troops came from Lima, Peru, killing the leaders of the uprising along with about 200 settlers.[citation needed] A chain of conflicts concluded on May 24, 1822, when Antonio José de Sucre, under the command of Simón Bolívar, led troops into the Battle of Pichincha. Their victory marked the independence of Quito and the surrounding areas.

Republican era[edit]

In 1833, members of the Society of Free Inhabitants of Quito were assassinated by the government after they conspired against it, and on March 6, 1845, the Marcist Revolution began. Later, in 1875, the country's president, Gabriel García Moreno, was assassinated in Quito. Two years later, in 1877, Archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was killed by poisoning while he was celebrating Mass.[citation needed]

In 1882, insurgents arose against the regime of dictator Ignacio de Veintimilla. However, this did not end the violence that was occurring throughout the country. On July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the Battle of Guayaquil, and later, after more conflict, became the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895. Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe. When he returned to Ecuador in 1912 and attempted a return to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912; thrown in prison; and assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison. His body was dragged through the streets of Quito to a city park, where it was burned.[citation needed]

In 1932, the Four Days' War broke out. This was a civil war that followed the election of Neptalí Bonifaz and the subsequent realization that he carried a Peruvian passport. On February 12, 1949, a realistic broadcast of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds led to citywide panic and the deaths of more than twenty people who died in fires set by mobs.[6]

21st century[edit]

In 2011, the city's population was 2,239,191 people. Since 2002, the city has begun renewing its historical center and also remodeled the Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

Between 2003 and 2004, the ecologically friendly bus lines of the Metrobus (Ecovia) were constructed, traversing the city from the north to the south.[citation needed] Many avenues and roads were extended and enlarged, depressed passages were constructed, and roads were restructured geometrically to increase the flow of traffic. A new subway system is currently under construction.

Geography[edit]

View of Quito from the International Space Station (north is at the left of the image). Quito sits on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, whose crater is visible.

Quito is located in the northern highlands of Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin. The city has been built on a long plateau lying on the east flanks of the Pichincha volcano. The valley of Guayllabamba River where Quito lies is flanked by volcanoes, some of them snow-capped, that can be visible from the city on a clear day. Quito is the closest capital city to the equator.

Nearby volcanoes[edit]

Quito's closest volcano is Pichincha, looming over the western side of the city. Quito is also the only capital in the world to be directly menaced by an active volcano.[7] Pichincha volcano has several summits, among them Ruku Pichincha at 4,700 metres above sea level and Wawa Pichincha at 4,794 metres. Wawa Pichincha is active and being monitored by volcanologists at the geophysical institute of the national polytechnic university. The largest eruption occurred in 1660 when more than 25 centimetres (10 in) of ash covered the city.[8] There were three minor eruptions in the 19th century. The latest eruption was recorded on October 5, 1999, when a few puffs of smoke and a large amount of ash were deposited on the city.[9]

Activity in other nearby volcanoes also can affect the city. In November 2002, after an eruption in the volcano Reventador, the city was showered with a layer of fine ash particles to a depth of several centimeters.[10]

The volcanoes on the Central Cordillera (Royal Cordillera), east of Quito, surrounding the Guayllabamba valley include Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Antisana and Cayambe. Some of the volcanoes of the Western Cordillera, to the west of the Guayllabamba valley, as well as are Pichincha include Illiniza, Atacazo, and Pululahua (which has the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve).[11]

Climate[edit]

Under the Köppen climate classification, Quito has a subtropical highland climate[12] (Cfb).[13] Because of its elevation and its proximity to the equator, Quito has a fairly constant cool climate. The average temperature at noon is 18.7 °C (65.7 °F) with a normal night-time low of 9.3 °C (48.7 °F).[14] The annual average temperature is 14 °C (57 °F).[15] The city experiences only two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season, June through September (4 months), is referred to as summer; the wet season, October through May (8 months), is referred to as winter. Annual precipitation, depending on location, is approximately 1,000 mm (39 in).

Climate data for Quito
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.1
(66.4)
19.1
(66.4)
19.1
(66.4)
19.4
(66.9)
19.2
(66.6)
19.7
(67.5)
19.8
(67.6)
20.3
(68.5)
20.3
(68.5)
20.1
(68.2)
19.3
(66.7)
19.3
(66.7)
19.6
(67.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.4
(56.1)
13.6
(56.5)
13.4
(56.1)
13.6
(56.5)
13.7
(56.7)
13.8
(56.8)
13.9
(57)
14
(57)
13.8
(56.8)
13.7
(56.7)
13.3
(55.9)
13.5
(56.3)
13.7
(56.7)
Average low °C (°F) 9.6
(49.3)
9.7
(49.5)
9.8
(49.6)
9.9
(49.8)
9.6
(49.3)
9.1
(48.4)
8.6
(47.5)
8.7
(47.7)
8.9
(48)
9
(48)
9.1
(48.4)
9.9
(49.8)
9.3
(48.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 65
(2.56)
104.2
(4.102)
123.1
(4.846)
149.8
(5.898)
98.2
(3.866)
41.4
(1.63)
22
(0.87)
28
(1.1)
60
(2.36)
119.3
(4.697)
87.9
(3.461)
76.3
(3.004)
975.2
(38.394)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 10 11 15 15 13 7 5 5 11 14 11 11 128
 % humidity 80 81 82 82 80 75 67 65 70 79 79 79 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 167 140 132 136 164 189 219 216 186 167 167 175 2,058
Source #1: NOAA,[16] World Meteorological Organization (precipitation data)[17]
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity)[18]

Demographics[edit]

See also: Quito Canton

This is population figure for the city proper as determined by the last census conducted in 2001. The number does not reflect the population of the whole canton, which also includes the surrounding rural parishes (parish seats and their surroundings), which are separate from the city.

Topographical zones[edit]

Quito is divided into three areas, separated by hills:

  1. Central: houses the colonial old city.
  2. Southern: is mainly industrial and residential, and a working-class housing area.
  3. Northern: is the modern Quito, with high-rise buildings, shopping centers, the financial district, and upper-class residential areas and some working-class housing areas.

Economy[edit]

Modern financial sector of La Carolina in northern downtown Quito.
12 de Octubre Avenue business area Skyline.

Quito is the second largest city in contribution to national GDP after Guayaquil, and the second highest in per capita income after Cuenca.[citation needed] Quito has the highest level of tax collection in Ecuador, exceeding the national 57% per year 2009, currently being the most important economic region of the country[citation needed], 63 as the latest "study" conducted by the Central Bank of Ecuador.

TAME, an airline of Ecuador, has its headquarters in Quito.[19]

Politics[edit]

Governance[edit]

Main article: Mayor of Quito

Quito is governed by a mayor and a 15-member city council. The mayor is elected to a five-year term and can be re-elected. The position also doubles as Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Quito (the canton). The current mayor is Mauricio Rodas.

Urban parishes[edit]

In Ecuador, cantons are subdivided into parishes. These subdivisions are called parishes because they were originally used by the Catholic Church, but, along with the secularization and liberalization of the Ecuadorian state, the political parishes were spun off the ones used by the church. Parishes are called urban if they are within the boundaries of the seat (capital) of their corresponding canton, and rural if they are outside of those boundaries. Inside Quito (the city proper), the way in which the city is subdivided into urban parishes depends on the organizations which use those parishes (e.g., the municipality, the electoral tribunals, the postal service, the Ecuadorian statistics institute). The urban parishes of different types are not necessarily coterminous nor the same in number or name.

As of 2008, the municipality of Quito divided the city into 32 urban parishes. These parishes, which are used by the municipality for administrative purposes, are also known as cabildos[20] since 2001. Since the times of the Metropolitan District of Quito, parishes of this type are also grouped into larger divisions known as municipal zones (zonas municipales). These parishes are as follows:

  1. Belisario Quevedo
  2. Carcelén
  3. Centro Histórico
  4. Chilibulo
  5. Chillogallo
  6. Chimbacalle
  7. Cochapamba
  8. Comité del Pueblo
  9. Concepción
  10. Cotocollao
  11. El Condado
  12. El Inca
  13. Guamaní
  14. Iñaquito
  15. Itchimbía
  16. Jipijapa
  17. Kennedy
  18. La Argelia
  19. La Ecuatoriana
  20. La Ferroviaria
  21. La Libertad
  22. La Mena
  23. Magdalena
  24. Mariscal Sucre
  25. Ponceano
  26. Puengasí
  27. Quitumbe
  28. Rumipamba
  29. San Bartolo
  30. San Juan
  31. Solanda
  32. Turubamba

Ecclesiastical parishes[edit]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quito divides the city into 167 parishes, which are grouped into 17 zones.[21]

Transportation[edit]

Public transport[edit]

The MetrobusQ network, also known as "Red Integrada de Transporte Público", is the bus rapid transit system running in Quito, and it goes through the city from south to north. It's divided into three sections—the green line (the central trolleybus, known as El Trole), the red line (the north-east Ecovía), and the blue line (the north-west Corridor Central). In addition to the bus rapid transit system, there are many buses running in the city. The buses have both a name and a number, and they have a fixed route. Taxi cabs are all yellow, and they have meters that show the fare. There are nearly 8,800 registered taxicabs.[22]

Bici Q station in northern Quito. Bici Q is the Bicycle sharing system started by the municipal government of the city

In August 2012 the Municipality of Quito government established a municipal bicycle sharing system called Bici Q.[23][24][25]

Road transport[edit]

Although public transportation is the primary form of travel in the city, including fleets of taxis that constantly cruise the roadways, the use of private vehicles has increased substantially during the past decade.[26] Because of growing road congestion in many areas, there were plans to construct a light rail system, which were conceived to replace the northern portion of the Trole.[27] This plans have been ruled out and replaced by the construction of the first metro line (subway) in 2012. It is expected to be operational by 2016 joining to the existing public transportation network.

Roads, avenues and streets Because Quito is about 40 km (25 mi) long and 5 km (3.1 mi) at its widest, most of the important avenues of the city extend from north to south. The two main motorways that go from the northern part of the city to the southern are Avenue Oriental (Corridor Periférico Oriental) on the eastern hills that border the city, and Avenue Occidental on the western side of the city on the Pichincha volcano. The street 10 de Agosto also runs north to south through most of the city, running down the middle of it. The historic centre of the city is based on a grid pattern, despite the hills, with the streets Venezuela, Chile, García Moreno, and Guayaquil being the most important.

Air transport[edit]

Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA: UIOICAO: SEQM) serves as the city's principal airport for passenger travel and freight. The airport is located 18 kilometres (11 mi) east of the city's center in the Tababela parish. It began operations on February 20, 2013, replacing the Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the city center within city limits. The old airport was replaced due to tall buildings and nighttime fog that made landing from the south difficult. The old airport will become a metropolitan park.

Rail[edit]

There is a railroad that goes through the southern part of Quito and passes through the Estación de Chimbacalle. It is managed by the Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos (EFE). This form of transport is nowadays used mostly for tourism.

Subway[edit]

A major construction project began in 2012 for a 23 kilometres (14 mi) metro subway system in Quito. Phase 1, currently underway, entails the construction of stations at La Magdalena and El Labrador. Phase 2 will involve 13 more stations, a depot and sub-systems. The project is expected carry 400,000 passengers per day and to cost USD$ 1.5 billion with finance coming from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).[28]

Points of interest[edit]

Historic center[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
City of Quito
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Quito Centro Histórico.JPG
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 2
UNESCO region Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 1978 (2nd Session)

Quito has the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic center in the Americas.[4] This center was, together with the historic centre of Kraków in Poland, the first to be declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 18 September 1978. The Historic Centre of Quito is located in the center south of the capital on an area of 320 hectares (790 acres), and is considered one of the most important historic areas in Latin America.There are about 130 monumental buildings (which hosts a variety of pictorial art and sculpture, mostly of religious inspired in a multi-faceted range of schools and styles) and 5,000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties.[citation needed]

Carondelet Palace

Carondelet Palace (Spanish: Palacio de Carondelet) is the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador, located in the historical center of Quito. Axis is the nerve of the public space known as Independence Square or Plaza Grande (colonial name), around which were built in addition the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipal Palace, the Hotel Plaza Grande and the Metropolitan Cathedral. During the Republican era, almost all the presidents (constitutional, internees and dictators) have dispatched from this building, which is the seat of Government of the Republic of Ecuador. In addition to the administrative units in the third level of the Palace is the presidential residence, a luxurious colonial-style apartment in which they live the President and his family. Rafael Correa, president since 2007, considering that Carondelet Palace and its agencies are Ecuadoran heritages, convert the presidential compound into a museum accessible to all who wish to visit it..

Basilica del Voto Nacional

This monumental Basilica del Voto Nacional is the most important neo-Gothic building in Ecuador and one of the most representative of the American continent. It was once the largest in the New World.

Cathedral of Quito

The Cathedral of Quito, is one of the largest religious symbols of spiritual value for the Catholic community in the city. This church began its construction in 1562, seventeen years after the diocese of Quito was created (1545). The church building was completed in 1806, during the administration of President of the Real Audiencia Baron Héctor de Carondelet.[citation needed]

One of the events that took place in this cathedral was the murder of the Bishop of Quito, José Ignacio Checa y Barba, who during the mass of Good Friday on 30 March 1877 was poisoned with strychnine dissolved in the consecrate wine. The cathedral is also the burial place of the remains of the Grand Marshal Antonio José de Sucre and also of several presidents of the Republic, as well as of bishops and priests who died in the diocese. The cathedral is located on the south side of the Plaza de La Independencia.[citation needed]

Church of La Compañía de Jesús

The Church of La Compañía began construction in 1605; it took 160 years to be built. By 1765 the work was completed with the construction of the façade. This was done by Native Americans who carefully shaped the Baroque style in one of the most complete examples of this art in the Americas.

Church of San Francisco

San Francisco is the largest of the existing architectural ensembles in the historic centers of cities in Latin America. The construction of the church began in 1550, on land adjacent to the plaza where the Native Americans engaged in the barter of products.

Church of El Sagrario

In colonial times, the Church of El Sagrario was one of the largest architectural marvels of Quito. The construction is of the Italian Renaissance style and was built in the late 17th century. It has a screen that supports its sculptures and decorations. This structure was built by Bernardo de Legarda. Its central arch leads to a dome decorated with frescoes of biblical scenes featuring archangels, work by Francisco Albán. The altarpiece was gilded by Legarda. It is located on Calle García Moreno, near the Cathedral.[citation needed]

Church of Santo Domingo

Although they arrived in Quito in 1541, in 1580 the Dominicans started to build their temple, using the plans and direction of Francisco Becerra. The work was completed in the first half of the 17th century. Inside the church are valuable structures, such as the neo-Gothic main altar. This was placed in the late 19th century by Italian Dominicans. The roof of the Mudéjar style church features paintings of martyrs of the Order of Saint Dominic. The roof of the nave is composed of a pair and knuckle frame, coated inside by pieces of tracery. In the museum located on the north side of the lower cloister are wonderful pieces of great Quito sculptors such as the Saint Dominic de Guzmán by Father Carlos, the Saint John of God by Caspicara, and the Saint Thomas Aquinas by Legarda. Another Baroque piece that stands is the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which is a recognizable feature of the architecture of Quito. This chapel was built beside the church, in the gospel side. In this was founded the largest fraternity in the city of Quito.

El Panecillo[edit]

Virgin of El Panecillo

El Panecillo is a hill located in the middle west of the city at an altitude of about 3,016 metres (9,895 ft) above sea level. A monument to the Virgin Mary is located on top of El Panecillo and is visible from most of the city of Quito. In 1976, the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates to build a 41 metres (135 ft)–tall aluminum monument of a madonna, which was assembled on a high pedestal on the top of Panecillo.

La Mariscal[edit]

This area is considered the center of the entertainment. It is the meeting point of local people and the travelers. Its cosmopolitan atmosphere is expressed through the variety of gastronomy, artistic, cultural options and the big number of hotels and inns, travel agencies, schools of languages and Latin dances, stores, bars and discothèques that light up when the sun hides.[29]

Parks[edit]

Arbolito Park

Metropolitano[edit]

Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua[30] is the largest urban park in South America at 1,376 acres (5.57 km2) (as reference, New York's Central Park is 843 acres (341 ha). The park is located in northern Quito, on the hill of Bellavista behind Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa. The park is suited for mountain biking, walking, and running. Most of it is eucalyptus forest with trails, but there also are numerous sculptures on display. The park has four sites that can be used for picnics or barbecues, and the eastern section has a view of Cotopaxi, Antisana, and the Guayllabamba river basin.

Bicentenario[edit]

Parque Bicentenario is the second largest urban park in Quito (surpassed only by the Parque Metropolitano), located in the site of the Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport. It was inaugurated on April 27, 2013. This park has 200 acres (81 ha), and it's located at 2,800 m (9,186 ft), above mean sea level. The former runway has been converted into recreational space with lanes painted for bicycles and pedestrians. There are play structures and games for children. As well, there is outdoor exercise equipment for adults. The park contains a man-made pond and more than 1 million trees, many newly planted. The park also hosts cultural exhibits and outdoor concerts.

La Carolina[edit]

La Carolina park next to Amazonas Avenue

La Carolina[31] is a 165.5-acre (670,000 m²) park in the centre of the Quito main business area, bordered by the avenues Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República. This park started from the expropriation of the farm La Carolina in 1939. The design of the park was made by the Dirección Metropolitana de Planificación Territorial (DMPT). Pope John Paul II headed a great mass in the park during his visit to Ecuador in 1985.[citation needed] A giant cross has been built in this place.

El Ejido[edit]

El Ejido[32] is the third-largest park of Quito (after Metropolitan and La Carolina), and it divides the old part of the city from the modern one. This park is known for handicrafts available for sale every Saturday and Sunday, with all pricing subject to negotiation (that is, haggling). Local painters sell copies of paintings by Oswaldo Guayasamín,[33] Eduardo Kingman, and Gonzalo Endara Crow. Otavaleños sell traditional sweaters, ponchos, carpets, and jewelry.

La Alameda[edit]

The long triangular La Alameda is located at the beginning of street Guayaquil, where the historic centre begins. It has an impressive monument of Simón Bolívar at the apex. There are several other interesting monuments in this park. In the centre of the park is the Quito Observatory, which was opened by President García Moreno in 1873 and is the oldest observatory in Latin America.[citation needed] It is used for both meteorology and astronomy. At the north end of the park are two ornamental lakes, where rowboats can be rented.

TeleferiQo[edit]

Main article: TelefériQo

The Aerial tramway Station at Cruz Loma (part of the Pichincha mountain complex at about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft)). Since July 2005, Quito has had an aerial tramway, known as the "Telefériqo", from the city centre to the hill known as Cruz Loma on the east side of the Pichincha volcano. The ride takes visitors to an altitude of about 4,100 metres (13,500 ft). There are also trails for hiking and areas where pictures can be taken of Quito. Because of the increased altitude and the wind on the mountain, it is considerably cooler.

Besides the aerial tramway to Cruz Loma, the Telefériqo as a whole is a visitor centre that includes an amusement park (Vulqano Park), fine-dining restaurants, Go Karts, Paint Ball, shopping malls, an extensive food court, and other attractions.

Outside the city[edit]

The monument at La Mitad del Mundo

La Mitad del Mundo[34] (the middle of the world) is a small village administered by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Quito. It has since been determined, with the use of Global Positioning System technology, that the actual equator is some 240 metres (790 ft) north of the monument area.

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, located a few miles northwest from La Mitad del Mundo, contains the Pululahua volcano, whose caldera (crater) is visible from a spot easily accessible by car. It is believed to be one of only a few in the world with human inhabitants.

Quito Zoo,[35] located near the rural parish of Guayllabamba, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) outside Quito, has the biggest collection of native fauna in Ecuador, including several kinds of animals that are sometimes targeted in Ecuador in the illegal fur trade. The Zoo works in conservation and education in Ecuador and has successfully bred the endangered Andean condor.

Maquipucuna Reserve is located in Quito's rural parish of Nanegal. This 14,000 acre high biodiversity rainforest/cloudforest reserve protects over 1966 species of plants[36] (10% of Ecuador's plant diversity) and close to 400 bird species. This reserve, which is surrounded by a 34,000 acre protected forest, was declared an IBA (Important Bird Area) in 2005 [37] and is the core of the a conservation corridor for the Spectacled bear (Andean bear)declared in 2013.[38] The area has an ecolodge located in the northern end of the Reserve where the Spectacled bear can be sighted for about two months every year.

Some of the other nearby natural attractions are:

Education[edit]

Universities[edit]

According to the National Council for Higher Education of Ecuador (CONESUP), these are the universities founded in or around Quito before 2006:[39]

University Foundation Date
Universidad Central del Ecuador 18/03/1826
Escuela Politécnica Nacional 27/08/1869
Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (PUCE) 04/11/1946
de Altos Estudios Nacionales 20/06/1972
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales 16/12/1974
Escuela Superior Politecnica del Ejercito E.S.P.E. 08/12/1977
Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial 18/02/1986
Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar 27/01/1992
Internacional SEK 30/06/1993
Universidad San Francisco de Quito 25/10/1988
Escuela Politecnica Javeriana del Ecuador 29/11/1995
Universidad de las Americas (Quito) 29/11/1995
Universidad Internacional del Ecuador 30/08/1996
Universidad Tecnológica America 20/08/1997
Universidad Del Pacifico: Escuela de Negocios 18/12/1997
Universidad Autonoma de Quito 07/07/1999
Universidad Cristiana Latinoamericana 31/03/2000
Universidad Tecnologica Israel 16/11/1999
Universidad de Especialidade Turisticas 31/03/2000
Universidad Alfredo Perez Guerro 15/01/2001
Universitas Equatorialis 24/12/2002
Universidad de los Hemisferios 20/05/2004
Universidad Intercultural de las Nacionalidades y Puebloes Indigenas Amawtay Wasi 05/08/2004
Universidad Iberoamericana del Ecuador 30/12/2005
Universidad Og Mandino 17/11/2005

Museums[edit]

  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneas - Located north of Basilica del Voto Nacional, this museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions. The historic building used to be a big military hospital and was renewed for its new purpose.
  • Casa del Alabado Located just south of Plaza San Francisco, this is the Old Town's newest museum and houses a collection of pre-colonial art. The building is one of the oldest houses in the city.
  • Museo de la Ciudad - A museum dedicated to the history of Quito. Located just east of the Plaza de Santo Domingo.[40]
  • Museo Casa de Sucre - This museum is dedicated to life of Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian independence. The ground floor has an array of weapons and military relics, many of which belonged to Sucre himself. The second floor has been restored to what it might have looked like in Sucre's time.[42]
  • Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador - This art museum houses 5 displays. Each one covers a different time period, ranging from prehistory to modern Ecuador.[43]

Sports[edit]

Estadio Casa Blanca, the newest stadium in Quito and home of LDU Quito

Quito is home to six prominent football clubs in the country. The city's top three clubs (El Nacional, Deportivo Quito and LDU Quito) have won a total of 28 national championships, over half of all championships played. Deportivo Quito and Aucas were the first home teams to play in the national league. Deportivo Quito was also the first out of the three home teams to win the title. LDU Quito is the only Ecuadorian club to have won 4 continental titles.

The teams in Ecuador's First Division (Serie A and Serie B) are:

Notable people born in Quito[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Quito is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plaza Grande (in Spanish). Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ Volcán Guagua Pichincha (in Spanish). Instituto Geofísico. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  3. ^ Security Watch: South American unity. International Relations and Security Network. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c "City of Quito - UNESCO World Heritage". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ City (– Scholar search) (in Spanish). Quito Distrito Metropolitano. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ Brown, Robert J. (2004). Manipulating the Ether. McFarland. pp. 251–252. ISBN 0-7864-2066-9. 
  7. ^ Chris Beall. "Ecuador’s top 10 volcanic experiences - travel tips and articles". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  8. ^ Naumova, En; Yepes, H; Griffiths, Jk; Sempértegui, F; Khurana, G; Jagai, Js; Játiva, E; Estrella, B (July 2007). "Guagua Pichincha". Environmental health : a global access science source (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service) 6 (1): 21. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-6-21. PMC 1947976. PMID 17650330. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Guagua Pichincha". Operational Significant Event Imagery. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  10. ^ Le Pennec, J-L. et al. (2006). "Characteristics and impacts of recent ash falls produced by Tungurahua and El Reventador volcanoes, Ecuador". Fourth Conference, Cities on Volcanoes. 
  11. ^ "Geography". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606. 
  13. ^ "Climate: Quito - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Weather. Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  15. ^ Average weather for Quito. The Weather Channel. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Quito Mariscal Sucre". World Weather Records 9th Series 1991-2000. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Quito". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ Cappelen, John; Jensen, Jens. "Ecudaor - Quito". Climate Data for Selected Stations (1931-1960) (in Danish). Danish Meteorological Institute. p. 81. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Contact Us." TAME. Retrieved on March 14, 2010.
  20. ^ "Diccionario. Cabildo (Parroquias)". quito.gob.ec. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Parroquias de Quito". Arquidiocesisdequito.org. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  22. ^ Sistema Convencional de Transporte (in Spanish). Metrobús Quito. Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  23. ^ "BiciQ Bicicleta Pública" (in Spanish). BiciQ. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Bici Q: 1.078 carnetizados". La Hora - Nacional (in Spanish) (Quito, Ecuador: La Hora). August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ "La bici pública rodará desde el martes". El Comercio.com (in Spanish) (Quito: Grupo El Comercio). July 27, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ Cars are besieging Quito (in Spanish). El Comercio. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  27. ^ "TRAQ - Tren Rápido de Quito" (in Spanish). [dead link]
  28. ^ "World bank backs Metro Quito construction". GlobalRailNews. 4 Aug 2013. 
  29. ^ The Great Guide Quito
  30. ^ "Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua". 
  31. ^ "Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito - Parque La Carolina". Quito.com.ec. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito - Parque El Ejido". Quito.com.ec. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  33. ^ Guayasamin.com
  34. ^ Mitaddelmundo.com[dead link]
  35. ^ "Quito Zoo". Quito Zoo. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  36. ^ http://maqui.ucdavis.edu/
  37. ^ http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sitefactsheet.php?id=14534
  38. ^ http://www7.quito.gob.ec/mdmq_ordenanzas/Resoluciones%20de%20Concejo/A%C3%B1o%20%202013/RC-2013-431%20-%20CORREDOR%20ECOL%C3%93GICO%20DEL%20OSO%20ANDINO.pdf
  39. ^ "Consejo Nacional de Educación Superior del Ecuador". Conesup.net. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Museo de la Ciudad :: Quito Ecuador" (in Spanish). Museociudadquito.gov.ec. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Ecuador Terra Incognita - La Flora Huayaquilensis". Terraecuador.net. 2004-02-14. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  42. ^ "Quito Official Travel Information Site - Ecuador - Sucre House-Museum". Quito.com.ec. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Banco Central del Ecuador". Bce.fin.ec. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  44. ^ Madrid city council webpage "Mapa Mundi de las ciudades hermanadas". Ayuntamiento de Madrid. 
  45. ^ a b "Sister City International Listings - Directory". Sister-cities.org. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  46. ^ "Kraków otwarty na świat". www.krakow.pl. Retrieved July 19, 2009. 
  47. ^ "Toronto News: Cities cherish their friends with benefits". thestar.com. 2012-04-29. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 

External links[edit]