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The Virgin looking at Quito – El Panecillo

Climbing the Panecillo and admiring the extension of Quito from the heights is an experience that you must live in your passage through the city of the Half of the World. The Panecillo is a hill that divides the city between north and south and whose top is the representation of the only winged virgin, also known as the Virgin of Quito. It is a giant structure composed of 7 thousand pieces of aluminum, replica of the sculpture of the Quito artist Bernardo de Legarda.

We recommend you to reach the top of the hill of El Panecillo by taxi or the tourist bus. From there you can admire the trace of this millennial city that has not altered its original morphology in more than four centuries. This was one of the reasons why UNESCO declared it the First Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The monument of the Virgin will allow you to admire in detail elements such as the serpent, the world, the crown and the wings of this religious image. See details of the Virgin proves that visiting Quito is a unique experience!

From here you have a privileged view of the whole city. There is a small viewpoint to the south side, from which you can see several of the peaks and volcanoes of our mountain range from El Panecillo. You can enjoy Quito and all its glory from these heights.

Another attraction that makes visiting Quito, is located in the same viewpoint. It is a stone monolith that according to research, is a point of energy that points directly to the center of the planet. Try to touch it to connect with Mother Earth and renew your energies!

There is a museum within the structure of the Virgin that is worth visiting, to learn how they brought from France their pieces and the structure of the image and how they were armed. From the beauty of the details of the Virgin to the stone monolith, it is evident that it is a cultural benefit to visit El Panecillo. Quito will soon become one of your favorite cities.

The Panecillo Virgin

The Spanish artist Agustín de la Herran Matorras began the construction of the monument of the Virgin of Quito on November 4, 1955. This was inaugurated on March 28, 1975. The sculpture of the virgin is 45 meters high and is a copy to Large scale sculpture of the Virgin of Quito, made in the eighteenth century by the Quito sculptor Bernardo de Legarda.

The original sculpture has a height of 30 centimeters and can be admired in the main altar of the Church of San Francisco. The work is composed of about 7 000 pieces and is considered as the largest representation of aluminum in the world.

History of the Panecillo

This small elevation located in the Historical Center of Quito received the name of the Panecillo by the Spaniards, at the beginning of century XVI. In the pre-Inca period it was called Yavirac, which referred to a water point or reservoir of water; Later, the Incas called it Shungoloma or Loma del Corazón. Ancient cultures used El Panecillo as a ritual space. During the Feast of the Sun or Inti Raymi, the Vestals or Virgins of the Sun danced as an offering to their god. According to a legend, in pre-Inca times, members of the culture Caras built a temple there in honor of the sun and one in honor of the moon, in San Juan.

Located at 3 035 meters above sea level (just 200 meters above the average altitude of Quito), El Panecillo marks the division between the center and the south of the city, and constitutes an observatory of the urban territory of Quito.

Andres Rivera Trujillo

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