San Francisco Church

San Francisco Church which includes a church or cathedral and street scenes
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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 Hotels Close to San Francisco Church

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 $65 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 18
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Quito. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (146 reviews)
Great atrium area
"Seemed to great for groups traveling together. Open area if atrium great for evening gathering."

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2022

Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel Plaza Grande
Hotel Plaza Grande
5 out of 5
Garcia Moreno N5-16 Y Chile, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $180 per night from Aug 20 to Aug 21
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Quito. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace, and room service. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in our ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (114 reviews)
"Good location & good service"

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2022

Hotel Plaza Grande
Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena
4.5 out of 5
Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
The price is $321 per night from Aug 26 to Aug 27
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Quito. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the WiFi in our reviews. ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (51 reviews)
"This Hotel is phenomenal. Perfectly located in the heart of Quito historic district. Hotel is fully renovated and staff is very friendly. Food in the restaurant is delicious. Café quiteño experience between 4-6pm at the lobby area is great!"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2022

Casa Gangotena
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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Hotel Plaza del Teatro
Hotel Plaza del Teatro
3 out of 5
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The price is $21 per night from Aug 20 to Aug 21
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The price is $65 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 18
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4.5 out of 5
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The price is $321 per night from Aug 26 to Aug 27
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Masaya Quito
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The price is $40 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 24
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Vista del Angel Hotel Boutique
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4 out of 5
Cotopaxi N 9- 17 y Esmeraldas, Quito, 170130
The price is $100 per night from Sep 11 to Sep 12
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La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique & Luxury Apartments
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3.5 out of 5
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Hotel Casa Alquimia
Hotel Casa Alquimia
3 out of 5
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The price is $72 per night from Aug 14 to Aug 15
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Hotel Boutique Portal De Cantuña
Hotel Boutique Portal De Cantuña
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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.