Compañía de Jesús Church
La Compañía Church
The great patrimonial importance of the Historic Center of Quito, the largest and best preserved of the colonial era in America, made it worthy of being the first place declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, back in 1978. Within this heritage, the most prominent place is occupied by the churches of the historic center of Quito.
After touring the interior of the Church of the Company, it is easy to understand why it is the most visited church by tourists in Quito. Can you imagine the interior of a large church all covered in gold? Walls, ceilings, columns, chapels, it is amazing.
La Compañía Church History
La Compañía church is the baroque masterpiece in Latin America, and is known as the Jewel of America. Started building in 1605, it took 160 years to be completely finished. Its baroque style facade maintaining the traditionally of the Jesuit churches, whose main sample is the church of the Gesu in Rome, although with a more ornate decoration.
The intention of the Jesuits upon arriving in Quito in 1586 went beyond the construction of a church, so in 1622, in a building annexed to the church they erected the building of a university, which is currently the headquarters of the Center Metropolitan Cultural
La Compañía Church is the best example of the Baroque style of Quito, although given its long period of construction, it also mixes other styles such as the Renaissance, Mudejar, Neoclassical or Churrigueresque.
Visit La Compañia Church
Since it is totally forbidden to take pictures inside this church, thanks to the collaboration of Tourism in Quito we had the exceptional opportunity to visit it before its morning opening, at 9:30 am.
When you enter La Compañía church, which in our case was also completely empty of visitors, its dimensions will not surprise you. I explain myself, it is a large church, whose vault of the central nave is 26 meters high; What will blow your mind is to see it completely covered in gold. Well, indeed, it is a cover of gold leaf, with thin sheets of 23 carats in every inch of the church. It is estimated that in total you should keep up to one ton of gold. This was the way the Jesuits had to try to attract the natives to come to the church and thus assume the Catholic religion. The gold was contributed by the indigenous families who thus "bought" places so that their children could go in the future to the new Jesuit University that was later built.
The church has the characteristic Latin cross configuration, with a cruise ship, it is made up of three naves, one central and two lateral ones consecutively. In the architecture of the Church of the Company premium symmetry, the main altarpiece is the work of the famous artist from Quito Bernardo de Legarda, author of the sculpture of the Virgin of Quito, icon of the city, and from which the building was built Winged and silver Virgin of the Panecillo hill. In it you will be struck by images of the founding saints of the religious communities that arrived in Quito.
In one of the chapels of the cruise is also dedicated to San Ignacio de Loyola, the holy founder of the Society of Jesus. Mariana de Jesús’ remains, the first Ecuadorian saint, are preserved on the altar. In the other chapel of the cruise, if you look closely you can see the glare differential on the balcony where it was restored by a fire. To also highlight the numerous artistic works that are distributed throughout the church. In its atrium is one of the crosses that make up the street of the 7 crosses of the historic center of Quito. The main ones, the great canvases of The Last Judgment and The Hell made by Hernando de la Cruz in 1620. And it is also worth noting the 16 pictures of the prophets made by Nicolás Javier Goríbar in the 18th century, which are distributed by the church’s large columns
In short, a spectacular visit that just for doing it is worth traveling to Quito.
Company church hours
The visiting hours of the Church of the Company in Quito are, from Monday to Thursday, from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm. On Fridays it closes at 17,30 hours.
On Saturdays and holidays the schedule is from 9.30 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. and on Sundays from 12.30 a.m. to 4.15 p.m.
The general admission price is 4 dollars, and the first Sunday of each month the entrance is free.
Tourist Places of Quito that may interest you
- Quito's Historic center
- El Panecillo
- La Ronda
- La Compañía de Jesús Church
- Calle de las Siete Cruces (Seven Crosses Street)
- Basilica of the National Vow
- Quito’s Metropolitan Cathedral
- Museum of the City
- Alberto Mena Caamaño Museum of Art and History
- Sucre House Museum
- Central Bank Camilo Egas Museum
- National Museum of the History of Medicine
- Convent of San Agustín Miguel de Santiago Museum
- Geobotanical Reserve of Pululahua
- Tumbaco Central Park
- Churches and Chapels
- Cununyacu Municipal Spa
- Ilaló Volcano
- El Chaquiñán
- Tulipe Ceremonial Center
- Ruta Escondida (Hidden Route)
- Perucho waterfall
- Eco Route Paseo del Quinde – Cycling
- Teleférico Quito
- Carolina Park
- Vulcano Park