Join me atop El Panecillo in Quito Ecuador where we visit La Virgen De Quito – a 45-meter-tall aluminum monument of a virgin madonna that represents a turning point in Quito art culture. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

How To Get To El Panecillo

The journey begins in the heart of Centro Historico in front of El Palacio de Carondelet (The President's House) at Plaza de la Independencia. Heading South on the street Garcia Monero will take you to the stairs that lead you straight to La Virgen de Quito.

Stairs to La Virgen de Quito

There are a few viewpoints to stop, rest, and take some photos along the way – but the whole hike should take you only about 30 minutes.

Viewpoint Midway Point to El Panecillo

Hate the idea of hiking? No worries. A taxi or bus can also drive you straight to the top of the hill!

Finally, once you reach the top of the hill, just a few more flights of stairs and you'll reach one of the best viewpoints in Quito Ecuador from atop La Virgen de Quito!

Best Viewpoints in Quito Ecuador

About La Virgen de Quito

La Virgen de Quito was designed by the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras who was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates. The monument was inaugurated on March 28, 1976, by the 11th archbishop of Quito, Pablo Muñoz Vega, and the statue was engineered and constructed by Anibal Lopez of Quito.

La Virgen de Quito

The statue is comprised of over 7000 pieces of aluminum and stands 45-meters-tall on top of El Panecillo, a 200-meter-high hill of volcanic-origin that separates the southern and northern sides of Quito Ecuador.

The monument was inspired by the famous “Virgen de Quito” also known as “the dancer” sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which is now displayed in the main altar at the Church of St. Francis.

The virgin stands on top of a globe and is stepping on a snake, which is a classic madonna iconography, other than the angel wings. La Virgen de Quito is recognized as the only madonna monument in the world with wings.

La Virgen de Quito represents a turning point of the Quito School of Art, one of the most renowned of the Americas, because it shows a virgin in movement, dancing in the sky, which is in contrast with the other traditional static Madonnas that were produced during the 18th century.

Thousands of tourists every year visit La Virgen de Quito for a glimpse at the history and culture of the monument, and of course, the world class view of Quito.

Video Transcript

No trip to Quito Ecuador is complete without visiting the famous La Virgen de Quito, a 45-meter-tall aluminum monument of a virgin madonna perched atop El Panecillo whose ever seeing but never perceiving gaze upon the city welcomes the daily hustle of Centro Historico every morning and bids farewell every evening.

But what makes this Madonna different than all other Madonna's in the world? This girls got wings!

La Virgen de Quito is actually the ONLY Virgin Madonna in the world with wings. She represents a turning point of the Quito School of Art because she's quite literally dancing in the sky – a movement that's in contrast with the traditional still standing Madonnas that were produced during the 18th century.

But unlike other virgins she is not being touched for the very first time. El Panecillo brings in thousands of tourists every year who come for the history, the culture, and a world-class view of Quito.

And this virgin right here, you can come inside her. One the second and third stories is a museum which showcases the history of her commission in 1976 and the 7000 pieces of aluminum that construct her exterior.

In many ways she represents the city of Quito — modern and forward thinking, sitting high above all others – an icon in the sky that represents a changing world as she dances her way with us into the next millennium.

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