Quito

We started the morning by visiting a park overlooking the historic part of the city.

This lovely structure (crystal palace) within the park, originally first indoor market, was constructed by students of Gustave Eiffel. The building now hosts various cultural events.

The Basilica of the National Vow located in the historic center is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas.

Independence a Plaza is flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Mayor’s residence, and the Archbishop’s palace. This was the site of many of the riots a month ago.

The baroque La Compania church is the most gilded and ornate church I have ever seen. Jesuit architects began work on the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in 1605. The church was finally completed 160 years later, and is now considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in South America.

Our final stop was Mitad del Mundo – the center of the earth- and the Monument to the Equator, which highlights the exact location of the equator (from which the country takes its name). Inside the tower is a museum commemorating the 18th century Franco-Spanish mission which fixed its location.

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