La Virgen de Quito, statue of winged virgin, Panecillo hill, Quito, Ecuador, South America.
La Virgen de Quito, on Panecillo hill, is an aluminum statue of the winged virgin (45 meters tall), inspired and enlarged from Bernardo de Lagarda's 1734 sculpture on display on the main altar in San Francisco Church, Quito, Ecuador, South America. This madonna was created in 1976 by Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras. The virgin stands on top of a globe and is stepping on a snake. The wings are unusual in the tradition of madonna icons. Seen to the south of downtown Quito, the Panecillo hill looks like a “small bread roll” (its Spanish translation) and stands at about 3000m (9840 feet). Before the Spanish arrived, the Incas worship the sun on Shungoloma, or Hill of the Heart (present-day Panecillo). Later, from 1812 to 1815, the Spanish constructed a fortress on the hill to control people below. Visit from Old Town via inexpensive taxi. See panoramic 360° views of Quito from here, best early in the morning (around 10:00 am), before the clouds form on nearby mountains. On a clear day, see Cotopaxi in the distance. UNESCO honored City of Quito as a World Heritage Site in 1978. Quito was founded in 1534 on the ruins of an Inca city. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic center in Latin America.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download