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QUITO: World Heritage
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2800 meters above sea level, between snow-covered mountains and valleys, it’s located the colonial city of Quito. This city has been named Cultural heritage. It has an extension of 50 km in longitudinal direction, from South to North, and 4 km wide, from East to West.

Quito is part of “Hoya de Guayllabamba” (bed of a river), located at the eastern slopes of the Pichincha volcano. Despite its considerable height (the highest capital, after La Paz) its climate is sunny and spring-like most of the year due to its proximity to the 0 ° parallel, 40 minutes from the business area of the city.

 

Quito also has the most representative downtown, “Centro Histórico” of Ecuador. It’s also the largest in America, made up of a large colonial old town that includes a variety of churches, chapels, monasteries and convents, as well as squares, museums, old mansions, Republican buildings from the beginning of the 20th century, and stunning contemporary works.

 

For all this natural, geographic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic wealthy, the Capital of Ecuador was named Prime Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November, 1978, by UNESCO.

 

Should be highlighted that the indigenous world is reflected subtly and continuously in the infrastructure and art of the city of San Francisco de Quito. This characteristic is reflected despite the repression and oblivion the indigenous endured in the conquest. This fact gives uniqueness and identity in relation to other cities. It is not the colonial structure alone which makes Quito a Cultural heritage of humanity. The merging with the indigenous features is what makes its art a unique mixture in the world.

 

The authors of this amazing syncretism were Ecuadorian, indigenous and mestizo artists such as Manuel Chili or Caspicara, Miguel Santiago, Nicholas Javier Goríbar, José Olmos (Pampite), Padre Bedón, Diego Robles, Manuel Samaniego, Padre Carlos, Antonio Salas, Bernardo Legarda and other members which constituted the "Quito School" of painting and sculpture. (Escuela Quiteña) This syncretism was specially achieved in sculpture and painting, art pieces exhibit in temples and museums in Quito.

 

The old city of Quito was the land of Quitus, Karas, Cotocollaos, and variety of human cultures that came to inhabit the Kingdom of Quitu, Reino de Quito. Few memories and vestige of those times are conserved. The pre-Hispanic Quito was completely destroyed with the arrival of the Spanish conquest and the establishment of the post colonial city of San Francisco de Quito.

 

By its unique characteristics, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cultural Heritage and Natural site was inclined to the city of Quito, Ecuador, as a prized heritage of the past to be preserved for knowledge of future generations. In order to preserve the city of Quito, the Congress of Ecuador established the Cultural Heritage Rescue Fund (FONSAL) to work in the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the heritage of Quito as well as for the cultural revitalization of customs and traditions.

 

Quito, Latin American capital, Cultural Heritage, has enough merits to be visit and discovered. It illustrates a history and culture that goes beyond the colonial period and is mixed with the modern life of the current Quito. All of this is mixture with the Andes distant past.

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