The Winged Virgin Guarding Quito

“El Panecillo,” which means “the little bread loaf,” is the wonderful nickname given to the small hill that rises above downtown Quito. In pre-Inca times, it was the site of a temple to the sun god, and in 1822 it was one of the last stands in a battle between the indigenous people and the Spanish.

Quito

Quito

In 1976, Augustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned to build a giant statue of the Virgin Mary of the Apocalypse to look out over the city. The statue is based on one from the 18th century by Bernardo de Legarda. She has wings like an angel and a crown of stars, and she is standing on top of a globe with a serpent. Unlike almost every other representation of the Virgin, she’s not standing still with her hands demurely folded; she has a hand up and she’s almost dancing.

Guarding the city

Guarding the city

Overlooking Quito

Overlooking Quito

My friends and I took a cab up the hill and wandered around, admiring the views of the city, which runs down the narrow valley and out of sight over the Andes Mountains. The first impression I got from up there is just how big Quito is, and the next thing I noticed was how colorful so many of the buildings were. The churches and official government buildings downtown were all severe gray stone, but the houses running up the hill are a marvelous mix of bright reds, blues, yellows, and oranges.

She's made of aluminum

She’s made of aluminum

Colorful city

Colorful city

After we looked around up there, we took a cab ride to the Itchimbia hill, which overlooks downtown and El Panecillo both. We went to Café Mosaico and had a drink while we watched the sun go down over the colorful city, and the lights go up.

Stunning sunset

Stunning sunset

City views from Cafe Mosaico

City views from Cafe Mosaico

The city by night

The city by night

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Winged Virgin Guarding Quito

  1. What a lovely time, Lisa, and a beautiful view of the city(s) – both before and after sunset! I love that the Virgin is made of aluminum – we just saw, up close and personal, the Kelpies statues in Falkirk – they are so huge, and made of metal (steel?) parts. You’ll get photos in my e-mail, but what a good medium, metal. No breakage, no erosion, no vandalism (?!).

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your amazing travels and sights with us!

    X O Irene

Dearest Fellow Travelers, tell me what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s