The “museo de la ciudad” is a space where Quito daily history converges, since its first settlements until the late nineteenth century.
The rest of museums and exhibits are focus on archaeological pieces or collection of artworks from different periods. This museum exhibits the daily life of Quito, the history of its inhabitants, revealing much richer history that the artifacts or art pieces isolated from their context.
The Museum is located in what was the Hospital San Juan de Dios more than 30 years ago. In time of Conquest was the “Real Hospital de la Misericordia de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo”, founded in 1565 by the order of King Philip II of Spain. It’s said that in these times the Museum of the City was the place where the oldest civil institution of the capital was built. But to say this would deprive the adjective "civil" to buildings that the Incas built in Quito, and to deny that the pre Hispanic cultures were "civilized."
However, the City Museum is located in a building that witnessed an era in the life of this country, we speak of the colonial period; and has been spectator of the transformation of Quito, a small colonial city into metropolis.
The museum has a chronological tour divided into different rooms that are on exhibit. Starting at the Quito Chamber that shows how different prehistoric people lived and carried out their daily tasks in the territory of the current city.
Then come the sixteenth century hall which exposes the dramatic change that this land suffered with the Spanish Conquest. The violent time finished with the imposition of one culture over another, the conquerors on the conquered and the legitimization of more subtle forms of violence: verbal, ethnical, and symbolic.
The tour will continue with the seventeenth, which consolidates the new order. The eighteenth century reveals several symptoms of discontent with the status quo, being the best known exponent Eugenio Espejo, and finally the nineteenth century where the “Criollo” class will break with the proclamation of independence and where they begin to establish the Republic under French influence.
This permanent exhibition is supplemented by two museums in situ: “La Capilla de Nuestra Señora” (The Chapel of Our Angels Lady), La Iglesia del Hospital (The Church of the Hospital) and Sala Eugenio Espejo (the Chamber Eugenio Espejo): The Hospital Morgue.
There are guidance’s tours in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. For large groups must be done a prior reservation.
Museo de la Ciudad:
Telephone: (+5932) 295 3643 Ext.108
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9h30 to 17h30. The entrance fee is $ 3 USD for general public.
Attention is until 12:00 pm only in noon Good Friday, November 2, December 24 and 31. The single days when the museum is closed are January 1, May 1 and December 25.
The Museum is located in the streets García Moreno E1-47 and Rocafuerte and if you have problems just ask how to arrive to the the “Arco de la Reina” (external decorative motif of the old Hospital San Juan de Dios) or the Museo de la Ciudad