SAN DIEGO CONVENT
09:00 – 12:30 y 15:00 – 17:00
+5932 2954026 ext 106
Calicuchima and Farfán
adults $ 3 dollars. Children, seniors and handicapped $ 1.50
The museum and convent of this Franciscan retreat is full of art and history… perhaps not on the mainstream church circuit, but a most interesting visit nonetheless.
San Diego es a beautiful Franciscan “recoleta”, a retreat for friar to gain spirituality and introspection. It is home to very interesting art work, including what some believe is a work by none other than Hieronymus Bosch. You can also admire the colorful mural in honor of the Chinquinquirá Virgin, as well as the very special coffered ceilings, gallery, pulpit and the fabulous legend of Father Almeida.
The legend features two main characters. Padre Almeida, the religious man who flees from the confines of the San Diego Monastery into the Quito night, in search of forbidden pleasures; and the sculpture of Christ on the cross, which the Father irreverently uses as a ladder to escape from his reclusion, with whom he exchanges words with before leaving every evening. Padre Almeida forces the image to come to life and object, “’Til when, Father Almeida?” (Hasta cuando, Padre Almeida). Famously, the Father replies: “’Til my return, my Lord” (Hasta la vuelta, Señor). The Father existed in real life, but the free spirit he’s credited for is unlikely. The Christ, on the other hand, is attributed to the great Manuel “Caspicara” Chili, and can be visited at the complex. Its chiseled face is also said to change its expression depending on the angle from which you look at it.
The San Diego Cemetery
The neighboring cemetery of San Diego is a great visiting site, but guards are not expecting tourists. Don’t show your camera if you decide to take a stroll inside, but notice the architectural flare of certain tombs and the Arabesque church, a sight to behold. Views of the city, looking back at the entrance from certain vantage points, also reward the curious.