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Iglesia San Diego - Historical Building Quito - Ecuador

At the foot of El Panecillo hill is one of the city's oldest and most historical churches, San Diego. Originally a Franciscan recoleta (retreat center), this white-washed temple was built between 1603-1610 of adobe and stone from Pichincha. Octagonal columns are present throughout. The church has a single nave, with niches that have gilded chapel screens. The apse ceiling is mudejar, not using a single nail or glue. The church and main courtyard also have remnants of murals.

Adjoining Iglesia San Diego is Quito's oldest cemetery. It is a city within the city, covering several acres. Every style of architecture is witnessed here, from elaborate mausoleums to modern, high-rise apartment burial niches. Five-time president José María Velasco Ibarra is entombed here. It has an unusual chapel.


Ca. Calicuchima 117 and Francisco Farfán (next to San Diego Cemetery)

Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador

Historical Building Types:
Churches, Colonial architecture, Monastery, Churches and religious buildings

Getting There

From Plaza San Francisco (4 blocks west of Trole stop Santo Domingo), walk 2 blocks up Calle Bolívar to Calle Imbabura. Turn left and walk down 9 blocks to Calicuchima. Or take a taxi.

Travel Tips:

The neighborhood is better patrolled now, but still has security issues. Visit only in daylight hours.

Price Description:


Relative price: Free

Open Hours from:Monday-Friday 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m., Sunday 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Open Hours to:Monday-Friday 6:30 p.m., Saturday 5 p.m., Sunday noon and 7 p.m.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Take along a snack and water; and sun protection (hat, sun block). Leave valuables at your hotel.

Currencies accepted
US dollar

Contact Information:
Phone: 02-317-3185

Here are other activities in and around Centro Histórico that may be of interest: El Palacio Arzobispal (The Archbishop's Palace), Monasterio de San Francisco, San Agustín - Museum and Monastery, Iglesia de Santa Bárbara , Palacio del Gobierno, Iglesia San Roque, Iglesia San Marcos, La Basílica del Voto Nacional, Iglesia de la Catedral (The Cathedral) and La Compañía.

By Lorraine Caputo

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24 Jan 2013

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