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Quito churches & cathedrals

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El Sagrario church

El Sagrario church in Quito Ecuador PichinchaEl Sagrario was built next to the Cathedral church, on huge series of arch­ways that served to bridge a small runnel in the surface of the land. The facade was cumpleted in 1706 the overall construction in 1715, and the interior decoration between 1731and 1747.

No one knows exactly who drew up the plans. But Legarda the gilder Cristobal Gualoto and the painter Francisco Alban all played an important part in the decoration of the finished building. Gabriel de Escorza Escalante was responsable for the front, and used the same neo-classical order that had gone into the building of San Agustín a few years earlier.

There are three lines of Ionic columns at the first level, with three Corinthian ones above to balance them: these frame the door, the great central window and the bell-tower that divides the front of the building in two.

The screen by Legarda is a masterpiece, one of the finest examples of Quito baroque style. The shafts of the columns are richly decorated, with a controlled exuberance of color and form. The central vault leads up to superb dome, covered with frescos representing biblical scenes with archangels, painted by Francisco Alban Legarda gilded the high altar-piece. Of the other altar-pieces, the most important is that of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, constructed on different levels, with niches and columns in the form of torches.

One of the altar-pieces in the Gospel nave has been attributed to Gaspar Sangurima.





























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