Quito, Ecuador History

By | December 14, 2021

Quito is located on the Guayllabamba basin on the eastern slopes of the active Pichincha stratovolcano, in the western part of the Andes. Its average altitude is 2850 meters above sea level. Making it the second highest administrative capital in the world (after La Paz) and the highest official capital on the planet. The city is divided into 32 parishes, which are subdivided into neighborhoods. Quito is the capital city of Ecuador according to simplyyellowpages.


The history of the city of Quito dates back to several millennia before the Christian era. The investigations in the village of El Inga (on the slopes of the Ilaló hill, 12 km from the center of the current city of Quito) belongs to the Palaeolithic or Paleoindian period that corresponds to the cultural stage of hunting, fishing and gathering. The studies of the American archaeologist Robert Bell (1914-2006) [1] obtained by means of the hydration of obsidian determined that the village of El Inga had an antiquity of 7000 a. n. and. [2] In pre-Inca times the importance of Quito was based more on its strategic location than on its political status. It was the hub of the routes between the main towns in the area and therefore was the hub of intense commercial exchange.

For the Incas, this region seems to have had a similar importance. Few archaeological remains have been found that demonstrate significant Inca occupation.

The Inca conquest of the area occupied by present-day Ecuador was initiated by Topa Inca Yupanqui, son of Pachacutec, the founder of the empire. And, it was Huayna Capac, son of the first, the first Inca who established his residence in Ecuadorian lands in Tomebamba, the current Cuenca.

His son Atahualpa was born in Quito, the product of his father’s union with a Caranqui noblewoman.

At the time of the arrival of the Spanish to Tahuantinsuyo, the Inca empire was in the midst of a civil war caused by the power struggle between Atahualpa and his brother Huascar. The first defended its hegemony from Quito, the second from Cuzco. Atahualpa was victorious and had his brother assassinated. Quito becomes the capital of Tahuantinsuyo. However, in 1533 Atahualpa was captured and killed by the Spanish.

The Spanish conquest of the northern Andes was motivated mainly by the rumor that the treasure of Atahualpa was located in Quito. Two expeditions are formed in their search: that of Pedro de Alvarado, through the western mountain range, and that of Sebastián de Benalcázar. It was the latter who managed to arrive first and who on December 6, 1534 founded the city of San Francisco de Quito.

The city was established with approximately two hundred residents. Immediately the limits were marked, the council was established, lots were distributed and communal areas were delimited.

The founding of the city on this site seems to have responded more than anything to strategic reasons. Despite its rugged topography, its location on a plateau had advantages over the surrounding valleys, more conducive to urban development. This last factor was also the one that prevailed in the determination of the place by the aboriginal peoples.

Quito is one of the oldest capitals in South America and maintains many aspects of its colonial past.

The location of Quito was established in the first millennium of our era and it was the fortified capital of successive native groups, such as the Quitús. In 1487 it was annexed by the Incas, constituting the habitual residence of Emperor Huayna Cápac. In 1534 it was conquered by Sebastián de Belalcázar, Francisco Pizarro’s lieutenant, who recast it with the name of San Francisco de Quito.

In 1822, General Antonio José de Sucre proclaimed independence from Spain. Quito became the main economic center of the country until the beginning of the 20th century, when it was replaced by the burgeoning Guayaquil.

The city suffered several earthquakes during the 19th century. In 1978 it was declared a World Heritage Site.

Quito city. World Heritage

The City of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, and is located at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Colegio de la Iglesia La Compañía y de los Jesuitas, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the “baroque school of Quito”, originated by the fusion of Spanish, Italian and Arabic art., Flemish and indigenous. the city was included in the List of World Heritage of UNESCO in the year 1978.


The architecture is fundamentally in the Hispanic Baroque style; The cathedral, built in the 16th century, and the churches of San Francisco, San Agustín, La Compañía and Santo Domingo stand out. Quito is home to the Central University of Ecuador, the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and the National Polytechnic School. The city extends along a rectangular layout, with a large central square, steep streets, and quiet parks with flower-filled gardens.

The interiors of temples and monasteries are true museums where you can see masterpieces School Quiteña sculpture and woodcarving, which has made Quito deserves the name “Florence of America” while in 1978 the UNESCO the declared as “World Heritage Site”.

Quito, Ecuador History