EL CARMEN BAJO
Monday to Saturday 07:00 a.m. to 08:00 a.m. Sundays 16:30 a.m. – 18:00 p.m. from July 7 to 16 opens from 07:00 – 19:00 novena of the Virgin of El Carmen. It opens on Christmas day.
Venezuela and Olmedo, corner
Carmen Bajo or Carmen Moderno settled in Quito after the destruction of the monastery of the Carmelite nuns in Latacunga, by the earthquake of 1698. It is without doubt an architectural treasure, place of the life of contemplation and spirituality of the nuns.
Originally it was established in 1669 in Latacunga, 100 km. south of Quito, but it was destroyed by an earthquake on 1698. Years later, the convent remains were taken to Quito, where it was rebuilt between 1718 and 1726. Its final inauguration occurred in 1745.
During its opening hours, you can visit part of the convent and know the rich religious and cultural heritage of the Carmelite order, cloistered women who continue their life of meditation and spirituality. The beautiful church, the monastery rooms and the orangery are some of the highlights. In the heart of the church crypt, the Solanda Marquise, Mariana Carcelén, secretly placed the remains of her husband, the great Marshal Antonio José de Sucre. Years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, they were transferred to the Cathedral, where they remain until today.
In the main altarpiece of its main altar stands out the Virgen del Carmen, carved by one of the few women recognized as artists in the Quito colonial era: the mother María Magdalena Dávalos and Larráspuro, who took the habits called Sr. María Estefanía de San José.
Among the valuable heritage of this monumental group is the famous Belén, made up of a large number of enameled clay figures. This exceptional set shows how the architecture of the time was and faithfully reflects the life of the different social classes and trades in colonial Quito. Cervantes Virtual Center Source.