Convent of San Diego
It has great wealth in linen cloths, sculptures and doraciones. The works take the talent of the Quito School of century XVIII. The convent of San Diego was the old recoleta of the franciscana order. Their walls keep precious linen cloths with allegories to the passion from Christ, the assumption of Maria and the life of abstention and poverty of saints like Francisco de Asi's and Diego of Alcala, patrono of the convent. Pieces that are from great interest are the pulpit, an example of the baroque ornamentation of century XVIII; the image of the Virgin of Chiquinquira; and crucifix by on which Bohemian Almeida father left to his nocturnal jaranas. The proliferation of convents in America India was the strategy of propagation of the catholicism towards each one of the natural inhabitants of the Spanish colonies.
The exigency in the spiritual preparation of the clergymen forced that their enclosures, to which recoletas was called, were constructed in "edenes" the most moved away of the worldly noise. Thus, the Convent of San Diego, located at the moment towards the south of Quito, registers in this line. The beginning of its construction is known of end of century XVI. In 1598 the franciscana congregation obtained from the Town hall the authorization to raise the work, under the direction of the father Bartolomeo Rubio. Between this year and 1602, Quito accumulated they donated lands, obtaining an extension of three blocks.
Towards 1603 the church had concluded, and the convent was in phase outpost. In 1626 the internal patios of claustro had been concluded. And the annals of the Town hall indicate that per 1650 San Diego already it celebrated like a house of retirement for "twenty monks of penitent life". Still they lacked small details, reason why in 1689 it was named "Working Greater" of the construction to legendary fray Manuel de Almeida, crook monk who used crucifix like the stairs that connected it with the nocturnal and Bohemian city. The place even takes more mythical force by the presence from another imaginary hero of the inhabitant of Quito: Cantuña. Although it paints like constructor of the vestibule of San Francisco, his hands never were there, but in San Diego, where he made some works of locksmith shop by which he received seven pesos. Towards half of the XVIII, the Convent was concluded totally with finished impeccable, according to account the English traveller William Stevenson: "Almost hidden in the middle of the trees and of rocks this toilet is of the romantic ones. It has been put special taken care of in which this building appears like an isolated hermitage.
It is perhaps in all the New World the dwelling that agrees more to the religious retirement... ". The single architectonic conception of the Convent of San Diego already is referring a patrimonial one. However, to the interior the jewels are greater. Like the style caissoned ceiling to mudéjar that it adorns the flat sky of presbytery. The main pulpit of the church also is treasure. Its ornamentation keeps stamp from the baroque style of century XVIII and its design presents/displays a chalice next to a grapevine that ascends between salomonicas columns. In the art gallery of the church allegorical linen cloths to San Francisco de Asis can be appreciated, with company/signature of Andrés Sanchez. But between that they emphasize are the "Gregoriana Mass", attributed to Miguel of Santiago; "Our Mrs. of Chiquinquira '", Colombian invoice; the picture of dying Christ, of anonymous author, who says itself inspired the "Mercy" of Caspicara; and the image of the Passion of the Gentleman, whose responsibility confers Francisco Albán. A visit to this museum is an encounter with a the Quito art, beyond the consecrated names.
Address: Calicuchima No.117 and Farfán.
Open: Monday - Sunday, from 09h00 to 13h30, 14h30 to 17h00