DU Wiki > Ă„mnen - Subjects > Tourism studies > KG3012 > Seminar 1 Cultural and natural World Heritage sites > Ecuador > Quito


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    The city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is an unique city where actions of man and nature come together is the best preserved historical center of South America (Equinox, 2014; UNESCO, 2014). This old city is listed on the World Heritage List since 1978, when the list was created. The volcano Pichincha and the Puengasi form a great central plateau which creates the basin of the city.  With an elevation of 2,850 m above sea level the city of San Francisco del Quito, which has been the full name since the 16th century, has been suffering repeatedly form earthquakes with the greatest damaged in 1797 and 1859 (UNESCO, 2014; Get Quito, 2009).

    The first established Franciscan Order started to build a monastery which directly became the center of art and education with its own schools of painting and sculpture. Later the Dominicans, Jesuits and Augustinian shaped the city with their monasteries. Famous monasteries like San Francisco and Santo Domingo and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañia all have rich interiors and show the baroque school of Quito. One of the richest church in South America is most likely La Compañia with its golden altar (UNESCO, 2014). It took over 160 years to construct this church and is now seen as one of the most complete example of the art in South America (Get Quito, 2009).

    Another important building in the historical center is the Basilica of the National Vow (Basílica del Voto Nacional). This basilica is built in New-gothic style and is considered as one of the most important pieces in this style in Ecuador. It is 140m height, 35m wide and has 24 chapels, representing all provinces of Ecuador. The style and structure of the basilica is compared with the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris (ibid).


    Managing issues

    The new subway project may have an influence on the historical center and therefore should carefully be managed and reported accruing the guidance of the World Heritage Properties. Meaning that especially potential negative impacts should be reported and should include analysis of alternatives (World Heritage, 2014).



    Get Quito (2009). Quito Colonial Art and Churches, Quito Historic Center. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 16/11/2014]

    UNESCO (2014). World Heritage Center. The list; City of Quito [Online] Available from: [Accessed 16/11/2014]

    World Heritage  (2014). UNESCO; Decisions adopted by the world heritage committee at its 38th session. Doha, Qatar.

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