Quito, Pichincha - Ecuador


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December 24th 1998
Published: November 24th 2006
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Quito, Pichincha - Ecuador

Dec 24, 1998









*City official name :Quito
*Founded date :
*Location :Pichincha Province
*Elavation :? ft (? m)
*Area :Approximately ? square miles (? km²).
*Facts :Quito (official name: San Francisco de Quito) is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in northern Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha ( 15,728 ft; 4,794 m), an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. The city's elevation is 9,300 ft (2,850 m) above sea level (measured at the Plaza de la Independencia), making Quito the second highest capital city in the world. The city's population according to the most recent census (2001) was 1,399,378. In 2005, however, the estimated population was 1,865,541 (canton). The area of Quito is approximately 112 square miles (290 km²).

There is some confusion about Quito's position as the second highest (elevation) capital in the world, but La Paz, Bolivia, which is where the Bolivian government functions, is the governmental capital of Bolivia. Sucre is the legal capital of Bolivia.

Quito is located about 15 miles (25 km) south of the equator. A monument marking the equator is known
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locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world).

Due to its altitude and location, the climate in Quito is mild to cool, fairly constant all year round, with a high temperature typically around 67 degrees Fahrenheit (20°C) on any given day, and a low around 49 degrees Fahrenheit (10°C) at night. The city experiences only two seasons: summer (the dry season) and winter (the rainy season).

Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador after Guayaquil.

Quito's origins date back to the first millennium, when nomadic tribes roamed the area and ultimately formed a commercial center where Quito is currently located. Early in the 16th century, the Incas conquered the city, hoping to further the reach of their kingdom, but upon the arrival of the Spanish in 1533, those plans were abandoned. Rumiñahui, an Inca war general, burned the city to prevent the Spanish from taking it, thereby destroying any traces of the prehispanic city.

Indigenous resistance to the Spanish conquest continued during 1534, with Francisco Pizarro founding San Francisco de Quito on August 15 of that year. On December 6, 1534, the city was officially founded by 204 settlers and Sebastián
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de Benalcázar, who captured Rumiñahui and effectively ended organized resistance. Rumiñahui was then executed on January 10, 1535. On March 14, 1541, Quito was named a city, and on February 14, 1556, was given the title "Muy Noble y Muy Leal ciudad de San Francisco de Quito" ("Very Noble and Loyal City of San Francisco of Quito").

The Spanish promptly established the Catholic religion in Quito, with the first temple (El Belén) built even before the city had been officially founded. On January of 1535, the San Francisco Convent was constructed, the first of about 20 more churches and convents built during the colonial period. The Spanish heavily evangelized the indigenous people and also used them as free labor for construction, especially in the initial stages. The Diocese of Quito was established in 1545 and was elevated to the Archdiocese of Quito in 1849.

In 1809, after nearly 300 years of Spanish colonization, Quito was a city of about 10,000 inhabitants, and on August 10, 1809, it was there where the first proclamation of independence was heard. The movement was ultimately defeated on August 2, 1810, when Spanish forces came from Lima, Peru, and killed the leaders of
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Quito, Pichincha - Ecuador
the uprising and about 200 inhabitants of the city. A chain of conflicts concluded on May 24, 1822 when Antonio José de Sucre, under the command of Simón Bolívar, led troops into the Battle of Pichincha. Their victory marked the independence of Quito and the surrounding areas.

Just days after the Battle of Pichincha, on May 24, 1822, the leaders of the city proclaimed their independence and allowed the city to be annexed to the Republic of Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar went to Quito on June 16, 1822, and was present at the signing of the Colombian Constitution on June 24, 1822.

This lasted until May 13, 1830, when Gran Colombia dissolved and the nation took the name Republic of Ecuador, becoming an independent nation. Quito was named the country's capital for being the original home of numerous prehispanic cultures, for its role in the independence of Ecuador, and because it was an important administrative seat.

Quito has been the scenario for demonstrations and political violence since the early years of the republic. In 1833, members of the Society of Free Inhabitants of Quito were assassinated by the government after they conspired against it, and on March
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Quito, Pichincha - Ecuador
6, 1845, the Marcist Revolution began. Later, in 1875, the country's president, Gabriel García Moreno, was assassinated in Quito. Two years later, in 1877, archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was killed by poisoning.

In 1882, insurgents arose against the regime of dictator Ignacio de Veintemilla. Their victory did not end the violence that was occurring throughout the country. On July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the Battle of Guayaquil, and later, after more conflict, became the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895. Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe, but upon his return to Ecuador in 1912 and attempted return to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912, thrown in prison, and assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison. His body was dragged through the streets of Quito to a city park, where it was burned.

In 1932, the Four Days' War broke out, a civil war that followed the election of Neptalí Bonifaz and the subsequent realization that he carried a Peruvian passport. Workers at a major textile factory went on strike in 1934, and similar unrest continues to the present day. On February
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12, 1949, a realistic broadcast of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds led to citywide panic and the deaths of six people who died in fires set by mobs .

In recent years, Quito has been the focal point of large demonstrations that led to the ousting of presidents Abdalá Bucaram (February 5, 1997), Jamil Mahuad (January 21, 2000) and Lucio Gutiérrez (April 20, 2005).








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