Basilica del Voto Nacional is one of the most important examples of neo Gothic arquitecture in Ecuador.
Its history is closely related with Padres Misioneros Oblatos del Amor Divino al Corazón de Jesús y Maria, Missionary Oblates Priests to the Heart of Jesus and Mary Divine Love, the only Priests Congregation created in Ecuador, founded by Julio María Matovelle. This is located at 122 Carchi and Venezuela.
The magnificent work that now is the Basilica del Voto Nacional would not have been possible without the cooperation of Quito citizens that paid taxes, implemented by the State in 1895 for the purchase of salt, in order to increase public funds for the building. Likewise, the significant effort of several generations of stonemasons and the donation of land by the Oblate Priests, made this site one of the most important basilicas in Latin America. It is compared with the Basilica of San Patricio, located in New York and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris.
The Basilica was built with materials brought from the Quito neighborhood of San Juan and the construction was directed by Priest Julio María Matovelle, an exceptional and visionary man. The flat design was done by architect Emilio Tarlier, who was inspired by the Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame. He made the plans between 1890 and 1896. Initially the building was planned in the area of El Belén, north of La Alameda Park in Quito downtown.
Luis Cordero President issued the decree to begin working on July 23, 1883 and the Convention purchased the land in 1884. However, the soil survey indicated the instability of the ground, which inescapable would represent onerous expenditures for the building of such a structure.
Finally it was decided to establish the Basilica de Quito at the foot of the hill of San Juan, in Hurtado family land because their floors were firm enough. To finance the work the National Congress gave 12,000 pesos of the Public Treasury, part of the national budget. Thus, in 1887, and under the authority of Pope Leo XIII, the construction of this basilica began.
The Basilica de Quito was blessed by Pope John Paul II on January 30, 1985, was officially opened on July 12, 1988. At present-day the church is still under construction. Next to it, there is a small private chapel where the leaders of the Order and seminarians gather to pray.
At the entrance to the Basilica a stunning gold-leaf frame and a painting of the Corazón de Jesús, Sacred Heart, called the attention of visitors. The painting is the original work, with which was performed the Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart on March 25th, 1874. A curious style of painting decoration shows the concept that people had in that time about the state and religion.
On each side of the work are two hearts, in literal terms, making custodian. At the right side is the heart of the President Gabriel Garcia Moreno and at the left the Czech Monsignor Barba heart. Both lies in glass and next to Garcia Moreno are several hand-written like this: "Don Gabriel, you are closer to God, ask for us."
The nave of the temple is 140 meters long, 35 wide and 30 meters high where are 14 bronze images representing 11 apostles and three evangelists. One of the leading decorators of the Basilica was Padre Jesus Correa Rigoberto Vazquez, Cañari priest, who dedicated his life to the building of the temple.
The Basilica, according to the general concept, follows "a large Roman history building, usually built on a rectangular plan, which was transmitted to Christian architecture. This church transformed the design to become it into a Latin cross, and adopted it as a common form for their temples. "
Another of its most impressive artistic attractions is the stone artistic inlaid: from the Andean concept, the classic gargoyles are replaced by turtles, armadillos, reptiles and amphibians of Ecuadorian fauna. These are located on the outside of the building and work as drain.
This monumental building is one of the best attractions in Quito and Latin America with no doubt. At the top you can see the city and the volcanoes that surround it.
Telephone: (+593 2) 228 9428
For more information contact the Basilica of Quito:
Basilica de Quito is located in Venezuela and Francisco Caldas Street, this is at the north-west of the historic downtown of Quito.
To go to the Basilica de Quito, from the Plaza de la Independencia, go down Venezuela street seven blocks north, there you will find this monumental work of the nineteenth century.
Its opening hours are Monday to Friday from 07h00 to 09h00 and 18h00 to 19h00; Saturdays and Sundays from 6h00 to 18h30.
The famous balcony of the Basilica del Voto Nacional is open every day from 9h30 to 17h30. The access price is $ 1 USD for all audiences.