An afternoon with god

This afternoon I decided to check out some of the many churches in Quito.

First off I visit basilica del voto nacional and climb the clock tower and the spire at the back of the church.  Ladders up are pretty scary – not usually afraid of heights but found my self saying don’t look down as I climbed up.  After that I went to La compania de jesus, the jesuit church, which has been restored to it’s old grandeur. A baroque over the top 23 carrot gilded temple (they didn’t know how to spare the gilting here – a much in demand profession).  And a particularly  grotesque painting at the back depicting hell.  A 57 piece orchestra is preparing for a concert later, and the sound is amazing.  I decide to hang around and listen to the rehearsal of what will be a very impressive performance for the city’s bicentenary celebrations.

Next was the Monasterio de San Francisco next.  The church is closed for large scale renovations but the museum, courtyard and choir balcony in the church is still open.  Don’t know if it was the franciscan priestes of newton parish when I grew up that I found to be a a little vulgar about getting money for a new church, or whether the jesuit views from when I went to school (I think they look down their nose at the franciscans) influenced me, but I found la campania to be a classier version of gilded gaudiness.  Even the security staff seemed a little higher class…