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


Quito, officially San Francisco de Quito, is the resources city that Ecuador in northwestern south America. It is situated in north Ecuador in the Guayllabamba flow basin, top top the eastern slopes the the Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. V an estimated full district populace of about 2.1 million world as of 2007, Quito is the second most heavily populated city in Ecuador, ~ Guayaquil. The is also the chair of the Quito metropolitan District, home to 1.8 million residents, and the funding of the Pichincha province. As the headquarters that the newly-formed Union of south American Nations, Quito is additionally the de facto resources of southern American integration.

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Quito is thought about to have one the the oldest and best preserved early american sectors in south America, through narrow and winding cobblestone streets, magnificent churches and open squares. The buildings in the historic facility of Quito, well-known as the "Old City" reflect Spanish colonial influence with their balconies, red-tile roofs, thick columns and central patios. European impacts have merged with the inspiration of aboriginal art to create a distinct Quiteño layout that has resulted in Quito being referred to as the "Florence the America." <1>


The Incas & the Spanish

Quito"s origins day to the an initial millennium once the Quitu tribe (from the Quechua civilization) populated the area and eventually created a advertisement center. During this pre-Hispanic period, the name of the city to be Reino de Quito. The Quitu were overcame by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom the Quito about 980 C.E.

The Incas controlled the area native 1450 until early in the sixteenth century. After Huayna Capac"s fatality in 1526 the realm was divided in between his two sons, each through a certain area that control. Huascar was offered Cuzco and Atahualpa rule Quito. Yet the division weakened the Inca infrastructure and stronghold resulting in an inter-kingdom war. This conflict in between brothers and also the kingdoms they ruled added to their eventual defeat at the hands of the Spanish invaders. Francisco Pizarro concerned the continent in 1532 v his sights set on dominating the once mighty Inca Kingdom. Atahualpa was at some point sentenced to fatality under Spanish law (though his "crime" of polygamy to be Inca custom) on respectable 29, 1533: the end of the mighty Incas.

What remained of the Inca city was soon melted to the ground. Return the facts room uncertain, one heritage holds that the continuing to be Inca refused to allow anyone accounting their as soon as glorious city. An additional tradition holds that Rumiñahuy, an indigenous warrior, collection the city top top fire and also destroyed the temples of the Incas.


Indigenous resistance to the Spanish occupation continued during 1534, through Francisco Pizarro starting San Francisco de Quito on august 15 that that same year. ~ above December 6, 1534 the city was officially started by 204 settlers led through Sebastián de Benalcázar, who caught Rumiñahui and effectively ended any organized resistance. Rumiñahui to be then enforcement on January 10, 1535. On march 14, 1541, Quito was declared a city, and on February 14, 1556, was offered the location Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de san Francisco de Quito ("Very Noble and also Loyal City of san Francisco of Quito"). In 1563, Quito became the seat of a royal audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and was called the real Audiencia de Quito.

The Spanish promptly established the Catholic religion in Quito, v the an initial church (El Belén) (Bethlehem) constructed even before the city had been official founded. In January that 1535, the mountain Francisco Convent to be constructed, the very first of around 20 churches and also convents constructed during the early american period. The Spanish actively evangelized to the native people, but they also used lock as servant labor for construction, specifically in the early early american years. The Diocese that Quito was developed in 1545 and also was elevated to the Archdiocese the Quito in 1849.


In 1809, after almost 300 year of Spanish colonization, a activity was started in Quito the aimed for political independence from Spain. A plan for government was created that placed Juan Pío Montúfar as president and also various prominent numbers in other positions that government. However, this initial motion was ultimately beat on respectable 2, 1810, as soon as Spanish pressures arrived from Lima, Peru, and also killed the leaders of the uprising follow me with around 200 inhabitants of the city. A chain of conflicts concluded on might 24, 1822 as soon as Antonio José de Sucre, under the command of Simón Bolívar, led troops into the battle of Pichincha. Their victory significant the freedom of Quito and also the surrounding areas.

Gran Colombia

Just days after the fight of Pichincha, on might 24, 1822, the leaders of the city proclaimed their independence and enabled the city to be linked to the Republic the Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar visited Quito ~ above June 16, 1822 and also was current at the signing of the Colombian constitution on June 24, 1822.

Rebellious City


Quito has been the step of demonstrations and political violence because the at an early stage years the the republic. In 1833, members that the culture of cost-free Inhabitants that Quito to be assassinated by the government after lock conspired against it, and also on march 6, 1845, the Marcist revolution began. Later, in 1875, the country"s president, Gabriel García Moreno, to be assassinated in Quito. Two years later, in 1877, archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was eliminated by poisoning.

In 1882, insurgents arose versus the routine of dictator Ignacio de Veintemilla, yet this did not finish the violence the was occurring throughout the country. Top top July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the fight of Guayaquil, and also later, after much more conflict, became the president of Ecuador top top September 4, 1895. Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe, but upon his go back to Ecuador in 1912 and also attempted go back to power, he was arrested ~ above January 28, 1912, thrown into prison, and also assassinated through a lot that had stormed the prison. His body to be dragged v the roadways of Quito to a city park, wherein it to be burned.

In 1932, the four Days" War broke out, a civil war that adhered to the choice of Neptalí Bonifaz and the subsequent realization the he carried a Peruvian passport. Workers at a significant textile manufacturing facility went on win in 1934, and similar unrest continues to the present day. ~ above February 12, 1949, a realistic radio broadcast of H. G. Wells" novel The war of the civilizations led to citywide panic and also the deaths of six people who passed away in fires collection by mobs. <2> In recent years, Quito has been the focal suggest of large demonstrations that brought about the ousting the presidents Abdalá Bucaram (February 5, 1997), Jamil Mahuad (January 21, 2000) and also Lucio Gutiérrez (April 20, 2005).



Quito lies at 00’ 15” South and also 78" 35” West in ~ an mean altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) making that the 2nd highest funding city in the world. There is part confusion about this claim due to the fact that La Paz, Bolivia, i beg your pardon is higher, is the governmental resources of Bolivia (where the Bolivian federal government functions). However, Sucre, which is lower, is the legal funding of Bolivia.

Quito is located just 15 miles (25 km) south of the equator. A monument and museum marking the general location the the equator is recognized locally as La Mitad del mundo (the middle of the world). The city lies on a horizontal piece of land that runs North-South top top the reduced slopes of the Pichincha volcano in the hollow of a tenderness sloping, productive valley.

Mountains and Volcanoes

Quito is in the northern Sierra the Ecuador in the Guayllabamba River basin high in the Andes. The whole country, i m sorry is about the dimension of the U.S. State the Colorado, has 19 volcanoes, and the eastern part of the container in i m sorry Quito lies is surrounded by eight of them: Cotopaxi, Antisana, Sincholagua and Cayambe (volcano) to the east; Illiniza, Atacazo, Pichincha and also Pululahua to the west. Of details interest is Cayambe, i m sorry is located east-northeast that Quito. Although that hasn"t erupted because 1786, it is the only mountain or volcano on planet that lies straight on the equator and also has a permanent snowcap and also glaciers.

Quito is the only resources in the world to be directly menaced through an active volcano. Guagua Pichincha, just 13 miles (21 km) west, has actually continuing activity and is under consistent monitoring. The biggest eruption emerged in 1660 bring about 10 inches (25 cm) the ash extending the city. The recent eruption was taped on October 5 and 7, 1999, as soon as a huge amount of ash was deposited on the city. Although not devastating, the eruption caused significant disruption the activities, including closing of the global airport.

Activity in other adjacent volcanoes additionally can affect the city. In November 2002, after an eruption in the volcano Reventador, the city was showered v ash for several days with greater build-up than the 1999 eruption the Guagua Pichincha.

The region also is vulnerable to earthquakes. Serious earthquakes have actually plagued Quito because that centuries, with considerably destructive earthquakes occurring virtually every hundred years including 1660, 1797, 1868, and one in 1987 i beg your pardon was less severe. The worst well-known earthquake come hit Quito emerged in 1797 and also killed 40,000 people. The many recent significant seismic event, v a magnitude of 7 top top the Richter scale, occurred in 1987 v an epicenter around 50 mile (80 km) native the city. It killed an estimated 1,000 human being near the epicenter, however Quito chin suffered only minor damage. Top top October 16, 2006, the city felt a quake measure 4.1 on the Richter scale, yet no major damage to be reported.


Due to its high altitude and also proximity to the equator, Quito has a constant, mild to cool climate year "round. The common high temperature in ~ noon is 77ºF (25°C) and the common night-time low is 43°F (6º C). The average temperature is 64ºF (15° C).

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

Quito also experiences minimal sports in daylight hours during the course of a year because of that is proximity come the equator. Other than for a couple of minutes result from a slight wobble in the planet as the rotates, sunrise and also sunset are always at 6:00 a.m. And also 6:00 p.m., respectively.


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


Quito is the federal funding of the Republic of Ecuador, v its current constitution dating from 1998. The chairman serves as the head that state and head that government and appoints members that the cabinet. The president and also vice president are elected to four-year state by renowned vote and are no eligible to offer consecutive terms. Members that the chamber of Representatives, or national Congress, are chosen by popular vote to four-year terms, through legislative strength vested in the unicameral room of Representatives.

Provincial and also local

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

Cantons are in turn divided into parroquias or parishes. Together of the October 2004 political elections, Quito was split into 19 city parishes. This parishes space not the same as the municipal parishes, whose borders are established by the municipality the Quito instead of electoral organizations.


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

Tourism is also vital part of Quito’s economy and has one of the best preserved colonial sectors in southern America.


Ecuador"s El Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) 2001 census calculation Quito"s populace at 1,865,541 resident in 555,928 households. Quito"s illiteracy rate was estimated at 4.3 percent through an typical monthly revenue of $387.

The main language that Ecuador is Spanish. Number of other aboriginal languages including Quichua and also Shuara are additionally widely spoken. English is additionally studied as a second language by countless Quiteños.

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


Education in Quito is totally free and compulsory for children in between the ages of 6 come 14. <5> start in the 1980s, public education and learning was greatly expanded in Ecuador to encourage the goals of universal literacy and increased tertiary education. As plenty of public institutions are overcrowded, religious and nondenominational personal schools play a significant role in education and learning in Quito.

Noted because that its research study programs in fields such together botany, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology, the Pontifical Catholic university is Quito’s premier university. The nationwide Polytechnic school in Quito specialization in engineering and industrial science and also has an outstanding center because that monitoring and studying volcanic and also earthquake hazards.

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Other universities specialize in particular areas of study, return the university device in general has experienced from political turmoil and uncertain funding. The Panamerican center for geography Studies and also Research in ~ the army Geographical institute in Quito conducts geographic and also environmental research as well as housing other environmental institutes, libraries, and also laboratories. A regional unit of the Latin American Faculty the Social scientific researches in Quito is one of countless social scientific research institutes.