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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Churches of Ecuador

This is a shortie.  Little text and lots of photos.  YEA!!   I love architecture.  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where homes were different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.  At 18, I moved to San Diego (14 years) and Los Angeles (3 years).   I loved the older Spanish-styled homes, but developers increasingly abused the style in lieu of the almighty buck by flattening hills and filling in gullys then constructing hundreds of homes that all looked alike...stucco with red-tiled roofs.  The gamut of colors ranged between white to off-white to cream to beige.  Every 3rd house was the same architectural style and floor plan as the 3rd one before it.  UGH.   

When I (twice) travelled throughout Europe, the architecture is what I sought out.   I loved the castles, cathedrals, and hundred+ year-old buildings because...back then....builders were not typically thinking of squeezing dollars.  They had visions of character and making a statement that would last a lonnnng time into the future.   The products they created contributed to the identity of the town.  Think of what San Francisco, New Orleans, London, Paris, Bareclona, or Amsterdam would be like if it weren't for the builders of yesteryear and what they created and perpetuated.  

I am always in awe when I walk into a church/cathedral that was built long before technology, trucks, cranes, hydraulics, etc.  HOW did they do it?  Such INTENSE MANUAL labor that, in many cases, took years to build.   And, the knowledge that was necessary for the sheer engineering of it all!!  In some cases, I ask 'why?'...such as a HUGE cathedral in the middle of a little hamlet that probably could never possibly fill it to full occupancy.

The good thing is, we still have many of those structures with us to enjoy every day.  I think it's pretty cool that a person can say 'I built that' and generations to come will see the work that person did to contribute to the character of the community.  That's one of the reasons I chose to live in Cuenca...because of the Spanish Colonial architecture, much of it dating from the 18th century, and the preservation of many of the buildings by being designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

With that in mind, enjoy the photos I took of various churches and cathedrals in my travels exploring Ecuador.


Across from the San Francisco market square in Cuenca.



Ambato...a more modern version.

Inside the Ambato cathedral.


Also in Azogues, located in the town square.

In a rural area outside Azogues.


Inside the Banos cathedral.

Outside of Cuenca in a neighborhood called 'Banos'...not the same as the town of Banos in northern Ecuador.

A large cathedral desperately needing restoration in a very small town called Cajabamba.



Known as the 'new cathedral' in Cuenca (though hardly NEW!!!)






Hmmm...the Coneheads headquarters??? (SigSig)

San Bartoloma


Quito Basilica








  1. Dunno?

    I'm catolica and I don't remember that saint???

    Definitely on the mark with the architecture - it is one of the many reasons that I am choosing Cuenca

    Charlotte NC

    1. Hey Denise,

      I'm looking into Cuenca as well. Maybe we should compare notes.


  2. Really enjoyed the pics, Dano. Thinking about moving to

    equador and yours is the 1st blog I've seen with pics, I really enjoy. Maybe you just have to love arch. Thanks again, Marlene

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I can´t believe u didn´t took a picture of ¨Iglesia San Francisco de Quito¨ or ¨Santo domingo¨, one of the best architecture ever!!...

    La Basilica, is one of the best, and important gothic church made in the world after the gothic church in Barcelona (spain), made of Gaudí (one of my favorite), or La Catedral de Notre Dam in Paris (love it too)....
    La Catedral de Cuenca, Cuenca-Ecuador, are one of the important gothic church of Europe, considerate from the UNESCO (by the way, I love your photo of (la catedral de Cuenca))...

    also!, have you ever know that in Ecuador after been a churchs were the best colleges in America, (i mean north, center and south america!).... thank god for Catholicism!!!, hehehe

  5. hey dan nice post but thats not the old catedral in Cuenca

  6. The cathedral in Banos looks just like the one in Oostand, Belgium. That one caught fire a couple of centuries ago and changed the color of the stone from light grey to dark grey. Is the one in Banos the natural color of the stone?

  7. I agree, architecture has made massive steps backwards. Most modern buildings (in the USA at least) are UGLY and totally lack any character or 'soul'. The buildings that you have photographed are remarkable. Thanks for sharing.
    Over the next year or more my wife and I are considering where in Central or South America to retire to.


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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