independence square / plaza de la Independencia
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In the heart of Colonial Quito is the Main Square: Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia.

 

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Plaza Grande is surrounded by four buildings that represent the elements of Quito society such as: The Presidential Palace, Archbishop's Palace, the Cathedral of Quito and the Municipal Palace.

 

In relation to the Government Palace, the structure was inspired in the Tuileries Palace, which was a gift from the French government in the nineteenth century. As a main attraction we also have the Archbishop's Palace, where resides the Bishop of Quito. Plus it now has in its interior a public courtyard, “paseo arzobispal” where we find several restaurants, cafes, craft shops, galleries and internet service.

 

Quito Cathedral was built between 1562 and 1567 and it is considered the oldest cathedral in South America, so it becomes a historical attraction to visit the Plaza Grande.

 

The Plaza Grande is the meeting point of Quito’s people, who nostalgically recall the past. Besides being always full of students, elders sit to talk throughout the day, street vendors trying to make a living in addition to the photographer paying attention to foreigners that want to keep their memories of this city in a snapshot.

 

The constant activity of Plaza Grande allows seeing a very rich human landscape made up of the entire cultural heritage that Quito has. For this and for architectural beauty, located amidst the hills and volcanoes, Quito has been named by UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

"The city of Quito develop its activity from this core, although it wasn´t the first square of the city, has remained at the heart of a community, a space owned by people and with which they identify."

 

In the center of the Plaza de la Independencia you will find the monument to Heroes  de la Independecia, memorial built in the early twentieth century, which symbolizes the triumph of the Republic against the Spanish colony.  In it laid floral offerings every August 10th to remember "El primer grito de la independencia" by Quito's founding fathers in 1809. As a result Quito it’s consider the Light of America, here started the fights across the continent for the release from the colony. In 1894 the government of Luis Cordero designed the project to the Italian sculptor Luis Minghetti, whose project was cut short by the political climate of the time.

 

In 1898, for Eloy Alfaro initiative, takes up the monument’s idea and his government decided that the cost thereof shall be borne by the Ecuadorian people. Francisco Durini Cáceres proposal won, which included the work of Italian artists and attachment to the original idea of ​​Minghetti. It was the project that convinced and achieved the contract, signed in 1904. It was inaugurated in 1906.

 

Plaza Grande is a place where stories come alive. It is the scene of many legends that are part of the culture of Quito. For example at the top of the Cathedral of Quito is the Cock of the Cathedral. As leyend goes, the Gallo de la Catedral became the fear of drunken men who passed through the Plaza, because one of them, after insulted the cock, made the cock got down from the Cathedral to give him pecks. You can also go to the Presidential Palace. You can easily visit it after been named Cultural Heritage.

 

Around Plaza Grande there are many places, among which are typical Ecuadorian food restaurants, as well as local craft sales and even on the ground floor of the Presidential Palace, we find a barber shop remembered for its old and is the meeting place of people requiring these services, that hasn’t changed despite of technology advance.

 

This tourism place of the City is a great place to observe the flow, color, humor and drama of Quito’s life . Besides being a historical space in which many conflicts have been gestated in the country's political life.

 

Arriving in Quito you must take time to visit this place that represents the core of a city. In the midst of their daily work Quito and its people show their history, which represents a cultural heritage and a past that tries not to be forgotten over physical traces left. So "select a seat, sit down and enjoy the show."

 

For your convenience, Municipio de Quito, with Empresa Metropolitana Quito Turismo , in conjunction with the Tourism Unit of Policía Metropolitana, offer guided tours to the most important attractions in the downtown of Quito, and other places further away and just interesting like downtown.

 

All tours to Downtown depart of the Information Center "The Quinde Store" located in the Municipal Palace, Venezuela and Espejo Street corner.

 

For more information:
Telephone: (+5932) 257 0786

E-mail: info@quito-turismo.com

 

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Plaza de la Independencia in Quito, known as Plaza Grande, is the heart of the downtown of Quito.

 

Basically, the entire center of Quito city is structured around Plaza Grande.

 

It is one of the few places in Quito where you can see, in all its complexity, the diversity of people that inhabit this beautiful city.

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