Open 24 hours. However, we recommend planning your visit taking into account the hours of attention of the attractions in this sector.
Venezuela, between Chile and Espejo
The city’s nucleus and perhaps the best place to begin your visit, Plaza de la Independencia, or the Plaza Grande (The Great Square).
It took over a hundred years for this lot of dust and dirt to become the most important piece in Quito’s urban chessboard, where the distribution (and confrontation) of power in Ecuador began brewing around what was once a small stone water fountain, today a proud monument to Independence, and Quito’s very own statue of liberty.
The beautiful Plaza de Independencia, the heart of the old town, is walled by the four pillars of society: the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Municipal Palace. Under the watchful eye of the Pichincha Volcano and the blue Andean sky, the square guards the secrets and legends of the city, its political traditions, hidden pacts and treaties: witness to the chronicles of Quito.
The city of Quito stems from this nucleus of activity, and has remained at very the heart of a community, a space owned by the people, and one with which they identify. At the start of the 20th century, the Monument to the Heroes of Independence was erected, a symbol of the triumph of the Republic over Spanish reign.
“The square is a great place to observe the ebb and flow, color, humor and drama of Quiteño life go by.” Here, you’ll find old timers “hanging out” on the benches, shoe-shine boys moving from one client to the next, men browsing the latest shock-horror headlines, new mothers pushing their proud prams, sweet-sellers hawking their wares, highland Indians with babies wrapped to their backs, cars hooting and brakes squeaking, women knitting, instant-photo takers snapping, hawkers crying, out-of-towners gawping, foreigners strolling, policemen observin, guards checking their reflections in the sheen of their boots… Pick a bench, sit back and enjoy the spectacle…