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San Francisco Church
Vacation Travel Guide

This church and monastery complex is as old as the city itself and features stunning 16th-century architecture, a converted catacomb and 3,500 artworks.

San Francisco Church (Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco) is an imposing monument from Quito’s Franciscan Order heritage. The site comprises a temple, several chapels and a convent. The 16th-century complex takes up almost two blocks of Quito Old Town. The foundations were laid a short time after Spanish conquistadors established the town. Explore this enormous historic monument to discover the church’s 13 cloisters, elaborate Moorish-style designs and a vast collection of artworks.

Walk toward the church from Plaza de San Francisco and note the building’s Renaissance and Mannerist styling on its impressive, double-towered façade. The plaza is built on a noticeable slope, which archaeologists discovered was due to the complex’s construction on top of an Incan temple. Observe the unusually wide stairs leading up to the church. It is said that the stairs were designed this way so that visitors would have to watch their footing and naturally bow their heads as they approached the church.

As you enter the church, see the traditional Incan representations of the sun, which were intended to encourage the indigenous people to the church. This blend of indigenous and Catholic iconography occurs throughout the church’s interior. Look up to see magnificent Moorish-styled ceilings, contrasted with the Baroque details in the chapels, nave and golden high altar.

Wander through the church to see some of the 3,500 artworks in San Francisco’s collection. Some works are features of the Quito School of Art, including the celebrated Virgin of Quito, an 18th-century sculpture and city icon. Find the church’s expansive library and light-filled courtyard. Don’t miss the church’s catacombs, which have been transformed into a store featuring regional arts and crafts.

San Francisco Church is located in the historic Old Town neighborhood of Quito, behind San Francisco Plaza. The church is easily accessible by trolleybus, with the nearest stop at Independence Square, a 5-minute walk away. Parking can be found on the surrounding streets. Mass is held on Sundays in the church.

Top things to do in San Francisco Church

Top Hotels Close to San Francisco Church

Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena
4.5 out of 5
Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $378 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5

Located in Quito Historic Center, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Francisco Church, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (39 reviews)
Great hotel

"Comfortable hotel in great location for exploring old town."…"

Reviewed on Nov 16, 2020

Casa Gangotena
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
3 out of 5
Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Centro Histórico, Quito
The price is $63 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13

Located in Quito Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo Casa de Sucre, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. Foch ...

4.4/5Excellent! (96 reviews)
Hotel San Francisco is great place to vacation

"Great breakfast each morning. The front desk was exremely helpful wih all our questions and set us up with a wonderful tour guide who showed us all the famous spots for a fraction of the cost of turn. Very pleased."…"

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2020

Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Masaya Hostel Quito
Masaya Hostel Quito
2 out of 5
Calle Rocafuerte OE3 85 y Venezuela, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $32 per night from Mar 6 to Mar 7

Located in Quito Historic Center, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Queen´s Arch, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. Foch Square ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (20 reviews)

"It was extremely clean loved that about it, staff was very helpful."…"

Reviewed on Mar 4, 2020

Masaya Hostel Quito
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near San Francisco Church

Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena
4.5 out of 5
Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $378 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
Casa Gangotena
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
3 out of 5
Sucre Oe 3-17 y Guayaquil, Centro Histórico, Quito
The price is $63 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Masaya Hostel Quito
Masaya Hostel Quito
2 out of 5
Calle Rocafuerte OE3 85 y Venezuela, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $32 per night from Mar 6 to Mar 7
Masaya Hostel Quito
Hotel Plaza Grande
Hotel Plaza Grande
5 out of 5
Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito, Pichincha
Hotel Plaza Grande
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
3.5 out of 5
La Ronda, Calle Morales OE1- 160, Quito
The price is $135 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4
La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
Hotel Boutique Portal De Cantuña
Hotel Boutique Portal De Cantuña
3 out of 5
Bolivar Oe6-105 y Cuenca, Centro Histórico, Quito
Hotel Boutique Portal De Cantuña
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
4 out of 5
Cotopaxi N 9- 17 y Esmeraldas, Quito
The price is $98 per night from Mar 29 to Mar 30
Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
Hotel La Basílica Quito
Hotel La Basílica Quito
3 out of 5
Venezuela N8-28, Calle Manabí, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $102 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9
Hotel La Basílica Quito
Benalcazar
Benalcazar
1.5 out of 5
Calle Benalcázar N1-88 Bolivar, Plaza de San Francisco, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $30 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Benalcazar
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.