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Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito

Discover one of the oldest churches in South America, featuring an intriguing mix of architectural styles, magnificent Catholic artworks and a fascinating history.

Find a historical site rich with religious, political and artistic heritage at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito (Catedral Metropolitana de Quito), one of the oldest churches in South America. This 16th-century cathedral features an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from Gothic-Mudéjar (Moorish) to Baroque and neoclassical. Stroll through the historic cathedral to see its ornate naves, chapels, golden high altar and celebrated paintings from the Quito School of Art.

Admire the cathedral from Independence Square (Plaza Grande), where you can see its northeast face and the semicircular staircase leading up to the lavish Arch of Carondelet entrance. Wander through the gardens to the cathedral’s main entrance, which is offset from the plaza by 16th-century defensive ravines. When facing the cathedral’s front entrance, note the three domes adorned with green ceramic and the tall bell tower on the cathedral’s right side. One of the domes, above the transept, features an iron weather vane in the shape of a rooster. This rooster features in several local legends.

Enter the cathedral to see elaborate wooden carvings, Moorish details and a stunning golden frieze. Bright daylight shines through its tall domes. Don’t miss the collection of artworks depicting saints and martyrs exhibited within altarpieces covered in gold leaf. The cathedral survived two major earthquakes, in 1660 and 1797, and has undergone many renovations over the centuries. It also contains the remains of Ecuadorian cardinals, bishops, presidents and other celebrated historical figures, such as Antonio José de Sucre, who fought in South America’s campaign for independence from Spain.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito is located on the southwestern side of Independence Square in the Old Town. It is easily accessible on foot or by the local trolleybus. The cathedral is open daily and charges a small admission fee. Several independent tour operators conduct tours of the cathedral and its surrounding area. Take a tour to explore the cathedral’s highest dome, see a stunning view across Quito Old Town and learn about its history, myths and legends.


Guide to Exploring around Quito Cathedral


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Lodging Near Quito Cathedral

See all 296 Properties near Quito Cathedral
Hotel Plaza Grande $180
Hotel Plaza Grande

Hotel Plaza Grande

Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito
     
    4.8
    of 5, from 50 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Quito, this luxury hotel is steps from Carondelet Palace, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral. El Panecillo and Basilica of the National Vow are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Hotel Reina Isabel $66
    Hotel Reina Isabel

    Hotel Reina Isabel

    Av. Amazonas N23-44 y Veintimilla, Quito
       
      4.4
      of 5, from 814 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Located in La Mariscal, this spa hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Foch Square and within 3 mi (5 km) of Basilica of the National Vow and Independence Square. Quito Cathedral and Atahualpa Olympic Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Hotel Casa Gardenia $82
      Hotel Casa Gardenia

      Hotel Casa Gardenia

      Calle Benalcazar N9-42 y Oriente, Quito
         
        4.6
        of 5, from 198 reviews
        3.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in the historical district, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Colonial Art Museum, Basilica of the National Vow, and Independence Square. El Panecillo and Quito Cathedral are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Hotel San Francisco de Quito $67
        Hotel San Francisco de Quito

        Hotel San Francisco de Quito

        Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Quito
           
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Quito, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo Casa de Sucre, Quito Cathedral, and Independence Square. El Panecillo and Basilica of the National Vow are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Hotel Patio Andaluz $190
          Hotel Patio Andaluz

          Hotel Patio Andaluz

          Garcia Moreno N6-52, Quito
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 297 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of Quito, this romantic hotel is steps from Carondelet Palace and Independence Square. Quito Cathedral and Basilica of the National Vow are also within 10 minutes.

            Casa Gangotena $270
            Casa Gangotena

            Casa Gangotena

            Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito
               
              5.0
              of 5, from 17 reviews
              4.5 out of 5.0

              Located in the heart of Quito, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Francisco Church, Independence Square, and Quito Cathedral. El Panecillo and Basilica of the National Vow are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Hotel Colonial San Agustin
              Hotel Colonial San Agustin

              Hotel Colonial San Agustin

              Calle Flores N°5-28, Corner of Chile, Quito
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 35 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of Quito, this hotel is steps from San Agustin Museum, Church of San Agustin, and Sucre Theatre. Bolivar Theatre and Plaza del Teatro are also within 5 minutes.

                Rincón Familiar Hostel Boutique
                Rincón Familiar Hostel Boutique

                Rincón Familiar Hostel Boutique

                Calle Flores N3-49 entre Sucre y Junin, Quito
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 56 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in the heart of Quito, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bolivar Theatre, Museo Casa de Sucre, and Santo Domingo Church.