Santuria de El Guápulo

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Quito, Ecuador
Santuria de El Guápulo - Santuria de El Guápulo
Santuria de El Guápulo - Street near the church
Santuria de El Guápulo - Wall painting in the porch
Santuria de El Guápulo - Francisco de Orellana
Santuria de El Guápulo - Santuria de El Guápulo
Santuria de El Guápulo - Santuria de El Guápulo

Santuria de El Guápulo Quito Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
393 reviews
Santuria de El Guápulo Oct 25, 2012
Over the hill from La Mariscal lies the historic neighbourhood of Guápulo. We visited with Betty and Marcello, driving down the winding valley on a long cobbled street. At the bottom of the road we came to the impressive Santuria de El Guápulo, a striking church dating from the latter part of the 17th century (although restored in the 1930s) and one of Quito’s real treasures.

We were very fortunate to find it open, as the hours are apparently somewhat erratic. And we were so pleased that we were able to go inside, as it is truly beautiful I loved the ornate wooden pulpit (the work of Juan Bautista Manacho in 1716) and especially the sweet-looking little dog carved waiting at the bottom of the steps – such a nice touch! The altar-piece is also stunning, and there are some important paintings from the Quito school by Miguel de Santiago and Nicolás Javier de Goríbar.

There was a lone local woman praying near the front of the church so we walked around very quietly. Suddenly she broke into song – totally unselfconsciously and I am sure not for our benefit but for her own – or rather, for that of the one to whom she prayed. Ave Maria sung so beautifully in this otherwise empty church – how magical!

No photos are allowed inside, but I asked an attendant who was hovering in the porch if I could take some there of the interesting wall-paintings, and was told that I might. I haven’t been able to find any mention of these paintings, perhaps because the treasures inside are so noteworthy.

Outside the church on the other side of the plaza is a statue of the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, gazing out over the land he “discovered”. There is a story, possibly true, that the name of this part of the city is derived from Guadalupe – that here the Spanish planned their sanctuary and dedicated it to the Virgin of Guadalupe. But the local Indians weren´t able to pronounce the name and it became corrupted as Guápulo.

We were lucky to come here by car with our friends, but you can come on foot by walking down the steep staircase directly behind the Hotel Quito and return the same way – or take a taxi for about $4.
Santuria de El Guápulo
Santuria de El Guápulo
Francisco de Orellana
Wall painting in the porch
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