la ronda
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La Ronda is a historic and emblematic neighborhood in the city of Quito. Its main artery is Calle Juan de Dios Morales, but is best known as “Calle de la Ronda”, name Quito’s residents have given and name right now and forever.

 

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photo: Rodrigo.C

Before the Conquest this street was an Inca road which started from one of the stream of Pichincha, called Jatuna, and went along Quebrada de los Gallinazos, or Ullaguanga Huayco. At that time, this road served to the ancient people to access to the water source and use it in house work.

 

In time of Spanish Colony several Spanish built their home truck farms on the edge of the gorge and it became contaminated. But the time would pass and in the sixteenth century the creek served as a quarry. By at the end of eighteenth both indigenous, mestizos and whites start to build and populate the street and the nineteenth the creek would be filled to become the current “Avenida 24 DE Mayo”, May 24th Ave.

 

But since the seventeenth century La Ronda  begin to have  a reputation of artisans, artists, bohemians and misunderstood refuge, this last especially since the end of  nineteenth century and early twenty century when the number of bars, taverns and brothels increased along the street.

 

In this street lived and walked several historical figures, peculiar and characteristic: like some of the best sculptors and artists of the colony, the best bakers, historians, precursors of independence as Eugenio Espejo, even crazy people, musicians, poets , painters and others.

 

By the end of last century La Ronda was seriously damaged, their homes had not received maintenance and thus one of the most vivid neighborhoods of Quito fell into oblivion. But few years ago the City began the restoration of this area and now is trying to revive the bohemian, artistic, and cultural spirit of La Ronda.

At present there are some typical Ecuadorian food restaurants, and bohemian and literary cafes, a legendary cheap restaurant, and a traditional Quito’s candy shop and an orphanage. Manufacturers of decorative candles, sobadores, healers( curandero), musicians, can be found in La Ronda street,  along with delicious canelazos ( traditional liquor)  with  delicious  “empanadas  de viento” (kind of pasty).

 

From de several shops and stores we highlight two in particular: the Casa 707 and Casa de las Artes de La Ronda. The first is under the direction of Fondo de Salvamento del Patrimonio Cultural de Quito (FONSAL) and has served as the scenery for many free artistic performances, giving preference to Ecuadorian music.

 

Casa de las Artes de La Ronda a cultural center that was created with the purpose of housing art exhibitions and as  a training  space for future artists, in other words, it seeks to rescue the creative spirit of La Ronda . It’s located at 989 and 999 houses.

 

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La Ronda is another legendary and famous sector of Quito. This neighborhood is legendary because it was the preferred area of ​​bohemians and artists of the early and mid twentieth century.

 

La Ronda Street, it means,  Morales Street, is located one block south of the Plaza de Santo Domingo, going down Guayaquil street that intersects it. Most of the shops and bars open their doors at night.

 

The nearest public transport station is “Sistema Integrado del Trolebús”, which is located in Plaza de Santo Domingo with the same name.

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