Virgin of El Panecillo

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Virgin of El Panecillo

The Virgin of El Panecillo (in Spanish: Virgen de El Panecillo), also known as the Virgin of Quito by the name of the sculpture in which she is inspired, is a monument of the city of Quito, in Ecuador. It is located on the top of the hill of El Panecillo, a hill in the shape of a small bread that is located in the heart of the city and serves as a backdrop to the Historic Center of Quito.

With a total height of 135 feet (41 meters) including the base, it's the highest statue in Ecuador and one of the highest in South America (taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro). It's also the tallest aluminum statue in the world.[1]


In the 1950s, local authorities and religious leaders stood looking at El Panecillo, a loaf-shaped, 656-foot-high (200 meters) hill that rises up in central Quito. They agreed that the hilltop, visible throughout the city, was the perfect place to erect a statue. After years of debate, they decided that the statue would be a larger replica of the Virgin of Quito, also known as the Virgin of the Apocalypse, Winged Virgin of Quito, or the Dancing Virgin, a 12-inch-tall wooden sculpture created by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734.[1][2]

Designed and built by the Spanish sculptor Agustín de la Herrán Matorras, the statue is made from 7400 pieces of aluminum, with each piece clearly numbered. The statue was then disassembled, shipped to Ecuador, and assembled again on top of the base. The statue was finished on March 28, 1975.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Virgen de El Panecillo". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  2. ^ "View the Virgin Maria of El Panecillo". Retrieved February 7, 2019.

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Coordinates: 0°13′44″S 78°31′07″W / 0.22888°S 78.51860°W / -0.22888; -78.51860