El Panecillo

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Quito, Ecuador
El Panecillo - the statue of El Panecillo
El Panecillo - The Olla del Panecillo
El Panecillo - View of Cotopaxi from El Panecillo
El Panecillo - View of Cotopaxi from El Panecillo
El Panecillo - View of the city from El Panecillo
El Panecillo - The statue of the Virgin on El Panecillo
El Panecillo - El Panecillo from the town below

El Panecillo Quito Reviews

pixie_power pixie_po…
5 reviews
city view Sep 23, 2013
Last weekend I decided to take in the view of Quito from El Panecillo, a hill from which you can survey pretty much the whole city. i had been repeatedly warned how dangerous it is so I took a taxi. It didn't seem very dangerous on the way up but as a single female I guess there's no point in taking risks. The taxi ride cost $3 and I noticed the taxi meter was turned off, althoughlegally they're all supposed to use them. i asked the driver why and he just said "because we're going to the panecillo" which I suppose means they have the right to rip off any tourists who want to see the city's attractions! $3 isn't much but a taxi ride of that duration would probably cost less than a dollar on the meter.

Anyway the view was spectacular on reaching the top, especially because it was a lovely sunny day. i paid $1 to enter the huge statue of the angel and climb the stairs to get an even better view! They had some relgious exhibits inside, little tableaux of how christian holidays are celebrated in south american countries, nothing that interesting.

Outside there are souvenier stalls and snack stalls. i had to wait a while for a taxi going down which only cost $2! There is a city bus to the very top but i wasn't sure where it goes when it returns to the city so I opted for a taxi instead.

Definitely worth visiting for the view but not much besides that!
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Toonsarah Toonsarah
297 reviews
Watching over the city Oct 25, 2012
It is impossible to miss the hill known as El Panecillo , topped by its statue of the Virgen de Quito who watches over and protects the city. Although not high in comparison with the volcanoes among which the city nestles, it dominates the skyline when you look south down any of colonial Quito’s avenidas. And just as there are great views of it, so there are wonderful ones from it, so a visit to the top is a must if you can manage it. Best not to walk up though, as the steps that lead here are notoriously bad for crime and tourist muggings. We came by car with our friends Betty and Marcello, but a taxi shouldn’t cost you more than $5 maximum each way, and you should be able to persuade the driver to wait a short while for you to look around.

El Panecillo means “the little bread loaf”, because of its shape. The hill was a sacred site for the Quechua, who had a temple to the Sun god (Yavirac) here and called the hill Shungoloma, meaning “hill of the heart".

There are two reasons to come here – the statue, and the view. Starting with the former, it is 41 metres tall and was made of seven thousand pieces of aluminium. It was designed by the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras, engineered and erected by Anibal Lopez of Quito, and inaugurated on March 28, 1976, by the then archbishop of Quito, Pablo Muñoz Vega. The Virgin is standing on top of a globe and stepping on a serpent, which is a traditionally symbolic way to portray the Madonna. Less traditional are the wing – indeed, locals claim that she is the only one in the world with wings like an angel. The monument was inspired by the famous "Virgen de Quito" sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which adorns the main altar of the Church of San Francesco. It is full of movement – she might almost be dancing – very different to the usual static statues of the saint. The interior of the pedestal holds a small chapel. It is possible to climb to an observation terrace around the globe but we didn’t bother – according to Marcello, a Quiteño, the views are not that different from those you get at the foot of the pedestal, and we were more than happy with those.

Yes, the views – spectacular, on a clear morning such as we were blessed with! You can see the city spread out beneath you (we spent some time picking out the landmarks while Marcello told us something about many of Quito’s sights that we should see on our visit) and beyond it the volcanoes. As well as snow-covered Cotapaxi to the south we saw Cayambe, also snow-covered, to the north along with Imbabura, Corazon and others. Do come here quite early in your day’s sightseeing though, as the clouds are likely to descend and hide the mountains from view by afternoon, especially in the rainy season.

Just below the feet of the Virgin is another sight, the so-called Olla del Panecillo. This large cistern is traditionally said to be of Inca origin, but recent tests have dated it to after the Spanish conquest. Marcello told us a story about a previous family visit here which should act as a warning. He decided he would like to get a photo of the family in front of the Olla del Panecillo, so he set the camera’s self-timer, rested it on the roof of his car parked just across the road and ran over to join the rest of the family posing for the shot. As the shutter fired a passer-by grabbed the camera and legged it – no family photo, and no family camera any more either :-(
El Panecillo from the town below
View of the city from El Panecillo
The statue of the Virgin on El Pan…
View of Cotopaxi from El Panecillo
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ciqua ciqua
3 reviews
The primadonna of Quito Aug 15, 2011
When you are in Quito - you see this far away blip of an angel and it's so intriguing. As it is like the Jesus statue watching over Rio, this madonna watches over Quito. It's a pretty quick cab ride away (make sure they put their taxi meter on to make sure you are not overcharged). The ride costs us less than four dollars and woooow. You get a GORGEOUS view of downtown Quito and the spectacular cathedrals. The statue is open till 5pm - and for the fee of a dollar you can climb the stair inside. On each level, there are items (like a museum) till you get to the belly where you can step out on the railing and gain an even more majestic view of Quito, the city, and its mountains. It's a spectacular attraction which cost us less than $5.

Some history behind the angel statue of El Panecillo - courtesy of Wikipedia

"In 1976, the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates to build a 45-metre-tall aluminum monument of a madonna which was assembled on a high pedestal on the top of Panecillo. It is made of seven thousand pieces of aluminium. The monument was inaugurated on March 28, 1976, by the 11th archbishop of Quito, Pablo Muñoz Vega. The statue was engineered and erected by Anibal Lopez of Quito.

The virgin stands on top of a globe and is stepping on a snake, which is a classic madonna iconography. Less traditional are the wings. Locals claim that she is the only one in the world with wings like an angel. The monument was inspired by the famous "Virgen de Quito" (Quito's Madonna) also known as "the dancer" sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which now decorates the main altar at the Church of St. Francis."
the statue of El Panecillo
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