Santo Domingo

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Vicente Rocafuerte, Quito, Ecuador
Santo Domingo - Santo Domingo from our hotel roof terrace
Santo Domingo - Santo Domingo from Rocafuerte
Santo Domingo - Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo - Santo Domingo at night
Santo Domingo - Chapel of the Rosary

Santo Domingo Quito Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
341 reviews
Iglesia Santo Domingo Oct 25, 2012
The church of Santo Domingo was our “next-door neighbour” while we were in Quito, but somehow we never got round to going inside until our last morning in the city, and when we did so there was a service in progress so we couldn’t look round properly. But while we were hesitating at the back a local lady motioned to us to indicate that we should go ahead, so we did just walk quietly along the right-hand side to peer into its most noted treasure, the Chapel of the Rosary. This alone is worth a visit to this church! It is richly decorated in deep red and gold, with a stunning rococo altar-piece, and quite takes your breath away. We had been told by our guide in the museum (see separate review) that this was the only part of the church to retain its original appearance, after the rest was redecorated in what later Dominicans considered more appropriate to the worship of God – this being thought perhaps too rich and worldly. But can you imagine what the church must once have looked like if it were once all like this?! It isn’t possible to enter the chapel (or at least, wasn’t possible when we visited) but photos are allowed from the gate that closes it off, as long as you don’t use flash. Despite resting my camera on that gate, the gloom has meant that my photo is a little blurred but I had to share it so you can see a little of the dramatic effect of this chapel.

The rest of the church is much plainer although still worth seeing, with some notable paintings – apparently. As I said, we weren’t really able to look around properly, but didn’t mind at all, as once we’d seen that chapel we were more than happy that we’d made time to come inside our neighbour church.

The church stands in, and dominates, the plaza of the same name. In the centre of the square a statue of Antonio Jose de Sucre points to the Pichincha volcano where he led the winning battle for Ecuador’s independence in 1822. I had read that the square is considered unsafe at night, but we walked along its north-eastern side several times on our way to and from La Ronda, once stopping to take photos, and never saw anything to concern us. However, we may have been lucky, so do be careful if you visit at night.

From the southern corner of the plaza you can walk under the arch that the church forms over the road, Rocafuerte, and look back for some rather different views.
Santo Domingo at night
Chapel of the Rosary
Santo Domingo from our hotel roof …
Santo Domingo
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