ARCH OF THE QUEEN
From Tuesday to Sunday, 09:30 to 17:30
+593 2 2 2271 820 / 2271 799
Av. Amazonas No. 3008 y Rumipamba (dentro del parque La Carolina)
$ 3.50 adults, $ 2 children from 3 to 12 years and $ 1.50 seniors and people with disabilities
From La Compañía Church you can make out the well-known Queen’s Arch, or Arco de la Reina… the arch “of the queen who never came”, as some of the locals mumble as they walk by under it.
The arch was built in 1727, to protect people from the sun and rain when they came to pray to the virgin that sits in the chapel on the left wall of the arch. It bears this name in honor of that virgin, the Our Lady of Angels (Virgen de los Angeles), whose devotion was created by Ecuador’s first saint, Mariana de Jesus. She resided in front of the chapel, in what is now the church and convent of Carmen Alto, and venerated the virgin with fervent devotion from the window of her room. An altar and chapel was then constructed for the image of the virgin as more people came to pray. And so that they could be pray and attend mass in peace, protected from rain or shine, the arch was built above it… Now the chapel is closed, but its large plaque continues to proudly claim its title: “El Arco de la Reina“.
At the site, you have several interesting points of interest to look into. You can either visit the fascinating Museo de la Ciudad, and learn all about the history of Quito or head across to the actual Museo del Carmen Alto, which showcases religious fervor at a fully-operational cloister! Don’t miss a peek at El Manto Sagrado store, with all sorts of garb for miniature Baby Jesus’, or pick out a bag of your favorite confectioned peanuts and roasted corn at the local peanut shop… there’s something on every corner!