SealNickname: Luz de América (Light the America), Carita de Dios (God"s Face), Ciudad de los Cielos (City of the heavens)


Quito, official San Francisco de Quito, is the resources city of Ecuador in northwestern southern America. That is situated in northern Ecuador in the Guayllabamba flow basin, on the east slopes the the Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. Through an estimated full district populace of around 2.1 million civilization as that 2007, Quito is the 2nd most populated city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. That is additionally the seat of the Quito city District, home to 1.8 million residents, and also the resources of the Pichincha province. As the headquarters the the newly-formed Union of south American Nations, Quito is additionally the de facto capital of southern American integration.

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Quito is taken into consideration to have one of the oldest and also best preserved colonial sectors in southern America, through narrow and also winding shingle streets, magnificent churches and also open squares. The structures in the historic center of Quito, known as the "Old City" reflect Spanish colonial influence with their balconies, red-tile roofs, thick columns and main patios. European influences have an unified with the inspiration of indigenous art to produce a distinct Quiteño format that has resulted in Quito being referred to as the "Florence the America." <1>


The Incas & the Spanish

Quito"s origins date to the very first millennium as soon as the Quitu tribe (from the Quechua civilization) inhabited the area and also eventually formed a advertisement center. During this pre-Hispanic period, the name of the city to be Reino de Quito. The Quitu were dominated by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom of Quito around 980 C.E.

The Incas controlled the area from 1450 until early in the 16 century. ~ Huayna Capac"s fatality in 1526 the empire was divided in between his two sons, each through a particular area that control. Huascar was provided Cuzco and Atahualpa rule Quito. However the division weakened the Inca infrastructure and also stronghold bring about an inter-kingdom war. This conflict between brothers and the kingdoms lock ruled added to their ultimate defeat at the hand of the Spanish invaders. Francisco Pizarro pertained to the continent in 1532 with his sights set on dominating the when mighty Inca Kingdom. Atahualpa was eventually sentenced to fatality under Spanish law (though his "crime" of polygamy was Inca custom) on respectable 29, 1533: the finish of the mighty Incas.

What remained of the Inca city was soon shed to the ground. Return the facts room uncertain, one legacy holds that the staying Inca refuse to permit anyone occupy their when glorious city. Another tradition holds that Rumiñahuy, an indigenous warrior, set the city on fire and also destroyed the holy places of the Incas.


Indigenous resistance to the Spanish occupation continued during 1534, v Francisco Pizarro founding San Francisco de Quito on august 15 of that same year. Top top December 6, 1534 the city was officially started by 204 inhabitants led through Sebastián de Benalcázar, who recorded Rumiñahui and also effectively ended any kind of organized resistance. Rumiñahui was then executed on January 10, 1535. On march 14, 1541, Quito was claimed a city, and also on February 14, 1556, was offered the location Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de mountain Francisco de Quito ("Very Noble and also Loyal City of san Francisco of Quito"). In 1563, Quito ended up being the chair of a imperial audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and also was called the real Audiencia de Quito.

The Spanish promptly created the Catholic religion in Quito, v the first church (El Belén) (Bethlehem) constructed even prior to the city had been official founded. In January that 1535, the mountain Francisco Convent to be constructed, the an initial of about 20 churches and convents developed during the colonial period. The Spanish proactively evangelized come the native people, however they also used lock as servant labor because that construction, especially in the early early american years. The Diocese the Quito was created in 1545 and also was elevated to the Archdiocese of Quito in 1849.


In 1809, after almost 300 years of Spanish colonization, a motion was started in Quito the aimed because that political independence from Spain. A setup for government was developed that put Juan Pío Montúfar together president and also various prominent numbers in various other positions of government. However, this initial activity was ultimately defeated on respectable 2, 1810, when Spanish forces arrived indigenous Lima, Peru, and also killed the leaders of the uprising follow me with about 200 residents of the city. A chain of conflicts concluded on might 24, 1822 when Antonio José de Sucre, under the command the Simón Bolívar, led troops right into the battle of Pichincha. Your victory significant the independence of Quito and the bordering areas.

Gran Colombia

Just job after the battle of Pichincha, on might 24, 1822, the leaders of the city proclaimed their self-reliance and permitted the city to be annexed to the Republic that Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar went to Quito on June 16, 1822 and was current at the signing that the Colombian constitution on June 24, 1822.

Rebellious City


Quito has actually been the step of demonstrations and political violence due to the fact that the beforehand years of the republic. In 1833, members that the society of totally free Inhabitants the Quito to be assassinated through the federal government after lock conspired against it, and also on in march 6, 1845, the Marcist change began. Later, in 1875, the country"s president, Gabriel García Moreno, to be assassinated in Quito. 2 years later, in 1877, archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was killed by poisoning.

In 1882, insurgents arose against the program of dictator Ignacio de Veintemilla, yet this go not end the violence that was emerging throughout the country. ~ above July 9, 1883, the liberal command Eloy Alfaro participated in the fight of Guayaquil, and later, after an ext conflict, came to be the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895. Upon perfect his 2nd term in 1911, he relocated to Europe, yet upon his go back to Ecuador in 1912 and also attempted go back to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912, thrown into prison, and also assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison. His body was dragged through the highways of Quito come a city park, where it was burned.

In 1932, the 4 Days" War broke out, a civil battle that adhered to the choice of Neptalí Bonifaz and also the succeeding realization that he brought a Peruvian passport. Workers at a major textile manufacturing facility went on strike in 1934, and similar unrest proceeds to the current day. Top top February 12, 1949, a realistic radio broadcast of H. G. Wells" novel The war of the people led to citywide panic and also the deaths of six people who passed away in fires set by mobs. <2> In recent years, Quito has actually been the focal allude of large demonstrations that caused the ousting of presidents Abdalá Bucaram (February 5, 1997), Jamil Mahuad (January 21, 2000) and Lucio Gutiérrez (April 20, 2005).



Quito lies at 00’ 15” South and 78" 35” West in ~ an median altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) making the the second highest funding city in the world. Over there is part confusion about this claim because La Paz, Bolivia, which is higher, is the governmental funding of Bolivia (where the Bolivian federal government functions). However, Sucre, which is lower, is the legal resources of Bolivia.

Quito is located just 15 mile (25 km) south of the equator. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is well-known locally together La Mitad del mundo (the center of the world). The city lies on a horizontal strip of land that runs North-South on the lower slopes the the Pichincha volcano in the hollow of a gently sloping, fertile valley.

Mountains and also Volcanoes

Quito is in the north Sierra that Ecuador in the Guayllabamba River basin high in the Andes. The entire country, which is about the size of the U.S. State of Colorado, has 19 volcanoes, and also the eastern component of the container in i m sorry Quito lies is surrounding by eight that them: Cotopaxi, Antisana, Sincholagua and Cayambe (volcano) to the east; Illiniza, Atacazo, Pichincha and Pululahua come the west. Of particular interest is Cayambe, i m sorry is positioned east-northeast of Quito. Although it hasn"t erupted due to the fact that 1786, it is the only mountain or volcano on earth that lies directly on the equator and has a irreversible snowcap and also glaciers.

Quito is the only capital in the people to be straight menaced by an energetic volcano. Guagua Pichincha, just 13 miles (21 km) west, has actually continuing activity and is under continuous monitoring. The largest eruption developed in 1660 leading to 10 inches (25 cm) the ash covering the city. The latest eruption was taped on October 5 and also 7, 1999, when a large amount that ash was deposited ~ above the city. Although not devastating, the eruption caused significant disruption of activities, consisting of closing of the global airport.

Activity in other surrounding volcanoes additionally can influence the city. In November 2002, ~ an eruption in the volcano Reventador, the city was showered with ash for number of days v greater build-up than the 1999 eruption of Guagua Pichincha.

The an ar also is delicate to earthquakes. Severe earthquakes have actually plagued Quito for centuries, with considerably destructive earthquakes occurring almost every century including 1660, 1797, 1868, and one in 1987 which was less severe. The worst known earthquake come hit Quito emerged in 1797 and killed 40,000 people. The most recent significant seismic event, v a magnitude of 7 top top the Richter scale, occurred in 1987 v an epicenter about 50 mile (80 km) indigenous the city. It killed an estimated 1,000 people near the epicenter, but Quito itself suffered only minor damage. On October 16, 2006, the city feeling a quake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale, however no major damage to be reported.


Due to its high altitude and proximity to the equator, Quito has actually a constant, mild to cool climate year "round. The usual high temperature at noon is 77ºF (25°C) and the usual night-time short is 43°F (6º C). The typical temperature is 64ºF (15° C).

The city experiences only two seasons: dry and wet. The dried season, June v September, is described as summer and also rainfall averages 43mm (1.7inches) per month. The wet season, October through may (eight months), is referred to as winter and also rainfall averages 130mm (5.1inches) every month. Quito averages a total rainfall that 47.6 inches (1209mm) every year v 128 annual precipitation days. <3>

Quito likewise experiences minimal sports in daylight hours throughout the food of a year due to the fact that of its proximity come the equator. Except for a couple of minutes resulting from a slight wobble in the planet as the rotates, sunrise and sunset are constantly at 6:00 a.m. And also 6:00 p.m., respectively.


Quito is the capital, and also therefore the chair of government, that the Republic that Ecuador and of the district of Pichincha.


Quito is the federal funding of the Republic of Ecuador, v its present constitution dating from 1998. The president serves as the head that state and also head that government and also appoints members that the cabinet. The president and also vice chairman are chosen to four-year terms by renowned vote and also are not eligible to offer consecutive terms. Members that the room of Representatives, or national Congress, are chosen by famous vote to four-year terms, with legislative power vested in the unicameral room of Representatives.

Provincial and also local

Governors are appointed through the chairman to administer each the Ecuador"s 22 provinces. Quito is the capital of Pichincha province. Districts are then further sub-divided into cantones or cantons that space governed through a mayor. This canton mayors are chosen by neighborhood vote and also have become specifically important for initiating local facilities projects and environmental controls.

Cantons are in turn separated into parroquias or parishes. Together of the October 2004 political elections, Quito was split into 19 metropolitan parishes. This parishes space not the same as the municipal parishes, whose boundaries are identified by the municipality that Quito rather of electoral organizations.


Quito is one of Ecuador"s two major industrial centers (the various other being Guayaquil), and produces textiles, pharmaceuticals, light customer goods, and also hand-crafted objects the leather, wood, gold, and also silver. Quito is the main financial, educational, social and political facility of Ecuador. <4>

Tourism is also vital part that Quito’s economy and has among the finest preserved colonial sectors in south America.


Ecuador"s El Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) 2001 census calculate Quito"s populace at 1,865,541 residents in 555,928 households. Quito"s illiteracy price was approximated at 4.3 percent through an average monthly income of $387.

The main language that Ecuador is Spanish. Several other indigenous languages including Quichua and Shuara are additionally widely spoken. English is additionally studied together a second language by many Quiteños.

The initial ethnic population that once populated Quito has blended into the larger culture through intermarriage. The intermarriage in between Indians, Spaniards and also blacks in Quito has actually resulted in mestizos, that make up practically 80 percent that the present populace of Quito, and in a smaller percent "mulattoes," "cholos" and blacks.


Education in Quito is totally free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 to 14. <5> beginning in the 1980s, public education was greatly increased in Ecuador to encourage the objectives of universal literacy and also increased tertiary education. As numerous public establishments are overcrowded, religious and nondenominational personal schools play a far-reaching role in education in Quito.

Noted for its research programs in areas such as botany, archaeology, linguistics, and also anthropology, the Pontifical Catholic college is Quito’s premier university. The nationwide Polytechnic college in Quito specialization in engineering and also industrial science and has superb center because that monitoring and also studying volcanic and earthquake hazards.

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Other universities specialize in certain areas that study, return the university mechanism in basic has experienced from politics turmoil and also uncertain funding. The Panamerican center for geographical Studies and also Research in ~ the armed forces Geographical academy in Quito conducts geographic and environmental research and also housing other environmental institutes, libraries, and laboratories. A neighborhood unit that the Latin American Faculty of Social sciences in Quito is one of numerous social scientific research institutes.