Ecuador is a very diverse country, where you can practice tourism. such as adventure tourism, ecotourism and even religious tourism, the latter has as its fundamental motivation the faith, in general it can be considered to include both the visit to shrines or sacred places and pilgrimages, in addition, visits to tombs of saints, attendance and participation in religious celebrations.
Quito the capital of Ecuador, is one of the cities that has great options to practice religious tourism, has several churches, museums, sanctuaries and more.
Today I'm going to talk about some churches that this city has, some have a bit bizarre legends that will leave you fascinated.
San Francisco Church
The church of San Francisco was one of the biggest and most interesting attractions that I was able to witness during my trip to Quito. That is why I put it at number 1, It was built in 1535, San Francisco was the first church in Quito, and the base from which the Franciscan monks would evangelize local natives.It is home to the multitudinous celebrations of Holy Friday during Holy Week, the starting and finishing point of the iconic Jesus of the Great Power procession, escorted by hooded and penitent "cornets" who carry crosses and disguise themselves as Jesus. It has a curious story about its construction, called the Legend of Cantuña.
It is believed that during the construction of the church, a famous native with the name of Cantuña, was asked by the priest of the city to cover the main atrium of the church with stones. Although it was a very extensive work, Cantuña accepted it with unexpected lightness. The days passed and Cantuña did not seem to worry about the delivery date, until the day before it was fulfilled, he asked God for help, but God was busy, seeing that God had refused to answer him, from among a pile of stones emerged a figure dressed all in red, with a pointed nose and a thick beard. The atmosphere smelled sulfur and the hoarse voice of the character was identified:
- Hello Cantuña, do not you recognize me? I am Satan, I come to propose a business: Only I can finish the atrium of the church before the sun rises, of course in payment in this favor you will give me your soul. Do you accept? Cantuña accepted, adding his own clause: that if the Devil and his little diabolic assistants had not finished placing each brick until the first bell at 6 am, the deal would annul. The devil agreed, he had everything to gain. They signed the agreement. While the creatures were working, Cantuña walked among them and without anyone noticing, he took a stone from a wall, sliding it under his poncho.
At 6 am, the proud Devil asked him if he wanted to say goodbye to his soul, but when the bell started ringing, it was the man who laughed, telling the Devil to look more closely at its walls.
There was only one stone missing, and when the bell rang, the contract broke. Cantuña had defeated the Devil, and today, the wall, without its missing stone, remembers this encounter between a Quiteño and evil.
Basilica of the National Vow
The Basilica of the National Vote of Quito is one of the most frequented by tourists, has a Neo-Gothic Ecuadorian architecture, one of the most representative of the American continent. Because of its structure and style, it is compared to two of the great cathedrals around the world: St. Patrick's Basilica, located in New York and the Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris.
The Basilica was blessed by Pope John Paul II, on January 30, 1985, it was consecrated and officially inaugurated on July 12, 1988. The mythological figures were displaced in the design. Instead, endemic animals of the country were incorporated, such as armadillos, caimans, turtles, monkeys and iguanas. They, more than serving as decoration, are used to channel rainwater.
It has several attractions that you can visit, such as La Torre del Cóndor: To get there, you need to cross a kind of suspension bridge that leads you to steep, narrow stairs. Here is the highest vantage point in the Basilica.
The church of Santo Domingo
Dominating one of the most significant squares of Quito, the church and convent of Santo Domingo has an illustrious history. Built by Dominican monks, its construction is plateresque and Mudejar style dating from the sixteenth century, in 1581, the religious turned to the architect Francisco Becerra, to design the convent and its church. However the departure of Becerra in 1583 left the work alone in foundations. Apart from its large patio, full of trees that attract the most beautiful birds of the city, inside the temple are also valuable structures, and several attractions that you can see:
Virgen de la escalera: The image of the Virgen de la Escalera is the work of one of the first Quito painters, The main altar: is neo-Gothic style, which was placed at the end of the 19th century by Italian Dominicans. The ceiling: The ceiling of the church, in Mudejar style, has paintings by martyrs of the Order of Santo Domingo.
Undoubtedly one of the most important baroque jewels of the 18th century that is jealously guarded is the Chapel of the Rosary, its decoration with golden carvings on a red background, the columns with original mix of plant and anthropomorphic elements and the complicated enclosures, all of which complete a set of rare ornamental fullness.
Minor Basilica of the Virgin of Monserrate
The church of the Virgin of Montecristi is not in the city of Quito, I know that the post speaks of Quito, but it was inevitable to tell them about this place. It is located in Montecristi - Manabí, the city where the finest straw shawl hats in the world are made.
It was built between 1959-1962, on the outside of the church, there are two towers of Roman style, in the Minor Basilica is the Virgin of Monserrate, constituted in the main attraction for national and international tourists. This church also has its own legend.
Legend has it that Emperor Charles V, sent two images, one the Virgin of Monserrate destined to Lima (Peru) and the Virgin of Santa Rosa to Montecristi (Ecuador), however due to a divine intervention the images were exchanged.
The images arrived together in a Spanish brig, having disembarked the image of Santa Rosa to venerate it in Montecristi, but the next day, when the ship set sail for Peru and after having sailed all day and night, the ship woke up again in the roadstead of Manta, continuing with this prodigy some days, until the crew deduced, as a solution, the change of the image, that is, leaving the virgin of Monserrate in Manta to be transferred to Montecristi and embarked to the virgin of Santa Rosa, to be taken to Peru. The procedure ended with the odyssey, and the ship normally followed its route to Lima.