The Cathedral of Quito, is one of the most important churches in the city, its history dates back to 1535 after the Spanish foundation of Quito, began the trace of streets and the framing of apples, after the trace, this solar was given to the first priest of Quito, the priest Juan Rodriguez.


On 8 January 1545, the Papal Bull by which creates the Bishopric in this city, designating the Bachelor Garci Diaz Arias, who takes possession of the bishopric in 1550, under the administration, it is only achieved the making of the adobe cover that was covered of a beautifully carved wood.

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After the death of Don Garci Diaz, temporarily takes office Archdeacon Pedro Rodriguez de Aguayo, and it is he who made the Cathedral (1562-1565) church from the ground until it ended along with the tower, and to lighten the work they used a work system called minga.

It is the June 29, 1572, when the blessing ceremony and the inauguration of worship in the new Cathedral is performed. Subsequent priests were in charge of providing goods and objects to the temple, the structure continued changing over time and its main causes were earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but the earthquake of Riobamba on February 4, 1797, was the one with most transcendence, for the construction was hired theSpanish architect Antonio Garcia and took place between 1803 and 1807.


In the last century the largest intervention occurred at the end of it, since the 1986 earthquake caused severe damage to the church, intervention process that continues today. Until October 1995, the church bore the name of Metropolitan Cathedral; but on November 11 the same year was named First Cathedral; for the evangelizing work done by the church.

In the late sixteenth century was established solemnly on the cathedral, the special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Forty Hours Jubilee, which remains so far in the various churches of Quito, celebrated in the Cathedral a week after Easter. This cult led to the construction of the magnificent temple of El Sagrario, next to the church.


The presbytery with ambulatory is topped by a monumental dome-shaped half, which is the result of an intervention of the eighteenth century. In this space, a baroque altarpiece semicircular wooden carved and painted in the center of which stands a large canvas depicting the mystery of the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin María, the work of Manuel de Samaniego. At the bottom of this altarpiece wooden choir stalls appears, also carved and painted, which completes the sculpture, thus forming the background of the altar, the same as faithfully follows the exact model of Tyrolean Baroque.

Architecture of the Church


The Cathedral of Quito, has been ranked in the neoclassical style, but in particular the architecture of this church does not have a definite artistic style, but rather four different styles such as the Gothic Revival in the semi-pointed and stained glass arches; Mudejar, in the coffered; neoclassical, in the entrance porticos chapels, porticos framing three canvases that are on the left side aisle and also in the altarpieces that are in the choir; Baroque, the largest of some chapels and altarpieces altarpiece.


Are attached to the pilasters walls Ionic capital, among these are windows on the sides lapídeas plates which contains the names of the Spanish people who immediately were written in the records of the Cabildo, installed the same 6 December 1534, as early settlers and residents of the new population which totaled 204.

The atrium of this Cathedral is stone, has a balustrade decorated alfarda enclosed by pyramids. Whose interim net are decorated with foliage and rosettes and spherical shot, the right side of the atrium cross in the center are twelve steps you fanned


The temple has a beautiful coffered Mudejar style (lintel architecture), cedar wood newly manufactured since the original was destroyed in the earthquake of the eighteenth century (1755), the coffered ceiling was also changed in the nineteenth century by German priests. Currently it covers the three ships. It is decorated with moldings, covered with gold leaf rosettes; frieze and cornice decorated and painted stucco, and four wooden beams decorated, supported by brackets at each end.



The Dome has three types: a small one that is over the altar carved in the shape of a convex quadrangle; the second which is the largest, in the shape of a perfect oval; and the third on circle form .

Entering this chapel is observed:

Sculpture “El Calvario”, where you can see different traditional techniques such as the Quito School:

Incarnates bright, Christ crucified, anonymous seventeenth century.

Gluing and glass eyes, Virgin María, anonymous, eighteenth century.

Braised, María Magdalena, anonymous seventeenth century.

Sgraffito, San Juan Bautista, anonymous seventeenth century.

Chapel built in honor of the first pope of the Catholic Church.

Altarpiece, Baroque, attributed to Father Carlos, at the bottom are baskets, which have combined grapes with cocoa, coffee and squash, at the top are observed: the tiara on two keys and also the representation of a rooster, carved and gilded wood, XVII century.

Central niche, sculpture of San Pedro seated, anonymous, carved wood to dress, gonces sculpture technique with glass eyes, the eighteenth century.

Papal, anonymous, embossed in silver, eighteenth-century armchair.

Papal Tiara or Crown, anonymous, embossed bronze eighteenth century.

on the altar, there can be seen representations of: San Pablo, San Pedro y San Andrés

CapillaSanta Ana

Built in honor of the mother of the Virgin Mary.

The altarpiece is Baroque, attributed to Manuel Chili (Caspicara), carved and gilded wood, characterized by its anti-seismic structure; pieces joined together by assembly and dowels (wooden blocks) like a set of Legos; in an earthquake early nineteenth Century, this altarpiece rocked.

In this chapel we find the sculpture “La Divina Parentela” Manuel Chili (Caspicara), carved wood with polychrome sgraffito technique, early nineteenth century.

Important chapel in the religious aspect where the tabernacle is located, which keeps the communion wafers representing the body of Christ, and its the reason why two candles are permanently lighted.


At the opposite end of the presbytery on the western gate, the high choir is located and occupies an area of ninety seven square meters, in which space is the tubular organ of German origin, consists of more than 1000 pieces based on shanks, which belongs to the twentieth century.

Secondary screen, Neptalí Martinez (design); Alfonso Rubio (execution), carved cedar wood, XX century.

Main Mausoleums


The Mariscal Sucre, “The Abel of America” was born in Cumaná- Venezuela, on Feb. 3, 1795, from his youth he joined the military ranks independent. He met the Liberator Simon Bolivar and became his right hand. There are several battles in which participated the most important being: The Battle of Pichincha, 24 May 1822; and The Battle of Ayacucho, December 9, 1824.

He married Mariana Carcelen from Quito better known as the Marquise de Solanda. He died in the jungles of Berruecos, on 4 June 1830.His body remained in the El Dean property of the Marchioness, then transferred to the Monastery of the Carmen Bajo, and in the early twentieth century was brought to this church.

Mausoleum of Juan Jose Flores, first president of Ecuador.


In the south eastern corner of the choir is under the pulpit that remains in this place for centuries and known various interventions. The eighteenth century wooden decoration was replaced by one of marble. In the nineteenth century a new work was done in carved and gilded wood. This current element is developed around a stone column, which is accessed by stairs. The body of the pulpit is made of carved and gilded wood decorations, of the image of the four Doctors of the Church and angels. The pompadour is styled in the same way that the pulpit, topped with a sculpture of San Pedro.

San Urcisino

Among the most notable relics kept on the Cathedral of Quito, the body of the Holy Child Urcisino, martyr of the Christian persecution. This sacred body was a gift from Pope Pius IX to President Garcia Moreno; as proof of recognition and gratitude to Ecuador for having been the only state that had formally protested the violent deprivation to the pontificate of its territorial possessions in Rome.

“The relic was received in Quito on October 11, 1871, at 10 am.”