The Place of the Week: El Panecillo

At one of the highest points of the capital there’s a hill with a sculpture watching over the city of Quito. The Panecillo and the Virgin of Legarda stands out in the capital’s landscape and allows thousands of tourists to enjoy a magnificent view of the city.


The story of this iconic place in Quito begins in 1892. 400 years after America was evangelized, Father Julio María Matobelle consecrates Ecuador to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After this consecration, it is decreed that a large structure of the virgin be built in Quito.

After some opposition, procedures and tenders, the construction of the great sculpture began only in 1955 after the municipality donated in 1947  Shungoloma (heart hill), or El Panecillo, for its construction.



El lugar de la semana El Panecillo Quito Ecuador Saga Travel Saga Creativa toma
Source: Wikipedia Cayambe


The Virgin, built by Spanish citizen Agustín de la Herrán Matorras, is based on the virgin sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda (from Quito). 7000 pieces of aluminum were used for its construction, which arrived in 1974 from Spain. Each piece had to be treated delicately, especially the hands and face that came in complete pieces. The Virgin was armed on the previously built base to finish at a height of 41 meters from its base. It was finally inaugurated on March 28, 1975.


El lugar de la semana El Panecillo Quito Ecuador Saga Travel Saga Creativa cover
Source: Florent Figon


Since, its viewpoint has been the perfect place to enjoy Quito, a city that seems endless from this point in the capital. It also has a museum at the base of the sculpture in which its construction is documented. In case you want souvenirs, you will find several offers at the Shungoloma market.


To get to this monument you can walk up from the center of Quito: although there are rumors that it’s dangerous, there are police officers along the way watching the road. It is also recommended to go by taxi or tourist bus.