el belen chapel
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The Church is located in the Luis Sodiro Street, between 6 de Diciembre and Luis Felipe Borja, next to the “La Alameda” park in the charming city of Quito.

 

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photo: quito adventure

Where the Spanish conquerors heard the first Mass on the occasion of the founding of Quito, a chapel was built. The chapel was known as Veracruz, now Belen. Right there was placed a crucifix carved in wood by the famous colonial artist Caspicara, between 1694 and 1697 by the “Cofradía de Guápulo”, Confraternity of Guápulo, by order of the Bishop of Quito.
 
The Chapel of El Belén is rectangular with walls of medium Brickwork Ashlar, seven carved wooden beams, trapezoidal dome and a series of carved wood gold inlay in the walls that serve as soffit. Its façade appearance is very simple and the altarpiece is its most precious treasure.

 

The eighteenth century altarpiece is very well finished. It has a wooden antependium in the altar, which represents the Coronation of the Virgin in an oval medallion, linear ornamentation as its molding, supported by two angels. At the sides of this table are two columns decorated with angels and hawthorn leaves.

 

Above the altar of El Belén is exhibited an eighteenth-century silver shrine, with fine and curved embossed work, typical of the time. Its door has a monstrance:  in the upper corners are two turrets and between them is a fan as a peacock's tail, finely stylized, which overstitches with a small crucifix.

 

The central niche of the chapel of El Belen is occupied by a beautiful Calvary without Magdalena. There are others that contain the image of the Eternal Father with all ornaments removed; the statue of San Jose and San Antonio, and La Inmaculada, the Immaculate Conception. On the other hand, a decoration piece formed with convex and concave circles harbors the mystical palm of the Holy Spirit.

 

You can observe a picture of San Francisco Javier done by Antonio Salas, which is in the wall of the presbytery near the front door of the sacristy. Similarly, in the church is a small stone column that served as pulpit shaft.

 

For more information of El Belén Church in Quito:

Telephone: (+593 2) 295 9632

 

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The church is located in Sodiro Street, between Felipe Borja and 6 de Diciembre, in the north side of La Alameda Park.

 

The Church of El Belén is the oldest of Quito.

 

The entrance to the chapel is free.

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