Basilica del Voto Nacional
Carchi and Venezuela Streets
Submitted by: Enrique Cabanilla
A beautiful Neo-Gothic sanctuary.
It was built with stone and belongs to Oblatos Community. The construction began in 1873 to celebrate the sacredness of Jesus’ Heart. At the beginning, a great portion was built with the money that its devotees contributed in order to have their names carved on stones. In 1985, it was blessed by the Pope Juan Pablo II, the year that he visited our country.
Its style is Neo-Gothic. It is decorated with animals that represent the fauna of Ecuador, and has a rose window, too. It has 377.2 feet of height and in the sanctuary there are 24 chapels, 21 of them represent to the Ecuadorian provinces.
The central nave is 459 feet, and on the top there are some images made of bronze, a lot of them represent the apostles and evangelists.
The Basilica hasn’t been finished yet. There is a legend that says: When this sanctuary is finished, Quito will disappear. The reason; the framework of the Basilica can’t withstand an earthquake of 7 degrees on the Richter Scale, and Quito cannot either.
What Makes Basilica del Voto Nacional a Great Place?
You can take a bus; the fare is 0.25 cents of dollar. However, the best option is the trolley bus that carries you downtown, and at the Central Bank you have to get off and walk west for two blocks until you reach Briceño Street. Another option is the bus CARAPUNGO – PLAZA DEL TEATRO, it goes from Carapungo, along La Prensa Ave, La Y, Amèrica Ave, Universitaria Ave and arrives downtown, and on Venezuela Street you will see La Basìlica in front of you.
The sanctuary is an excellent place to visit. At the first view, you will have a good first impression of its façade and large size. If go into the sanctuary to visit, a guide will help you. Take precautions as in other places in Quito.
Another option is to visit the Ecuadorian Presidents’ Cemetery. You can go up to the viewpoint where you will see an incredible landscape of this city. There is a wood bridge that crosses the central nave, and then you can go up the stairs to the clock tower. If you need to take a break, the cafeteria is a good option, or if you want to buy a handicraft, there are stores there too.
This is a place where people can go to visit, on weekend to have a nice moment.
History & Background
Visiting hours are:
Monday to Friday: 7:00 to 9:00 AM, and 6:00 to 7:00 PM Saturday and Sunday: 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM
- Basilica del Voto Nacional - information on Quito's website (in Spanish)
- La Basilica - Yahoo travel guide and info on the Basilica