La Merced Church in Quito
The fine La Merced Church or the Church of Mercy is situated in the historical neighborhood of Quito. Entrance to the church is free. Both the architectural design and the contents of the Church of La Merced are fascinating and sure to impress you.
The original Basilica of La Merced in Quito was probably constructed by the priests of La Merced in the 1500s or later. This building was badly damaged in 1660 due to an earthquake. Finally, new foundations were laid for the new Church of La Merced in 1701. The main tower was finished in 1736. In 1747 the completed La Merced Church was inaugurated. The main altar was built with intricate carvings in 1751 by Bernardo de Lagarda. Inside the Ecuadorian church you will see a fine stone statue of Our Lady of Mercy. It is said that this sculpture has saved Quito from many volcanic eruptions as well as earthquakes.
Visitors will approach the entrance from the church square, which offers a spectacular view. As you walk towards the building you will notice the massive white walls and the impressive tower of the La Merced Church. It is a most unique structure housing a huge bell. The most noticeable aspect of the entrance is the stone pillars that have been carefully carved with images. A closer look will reveal carvings of the sun and moon as well as bearded heads. Within the church you will see the statue of Our Lady Mercy as well as many other interesting features. Sparkling white archways and stone pillars as well as an exquisite fountain add to the awe-inspiring atmosphere. The fountain holds a statue of Neptune, a pagan god. On the walls are artworks by Samaniego, Pinto, Hernando da la Cruz and Victor Mideros. The La Merced Church also owns a great library filled with parchment books and other ancient relics. In the second cloister is a museum with a collection of jewels and paintings. You will certainly want to pay this museum a visit.
Beside the Church of La Merced is a monastery that contains the oldest clock in Quito. So if you are looking for an interesting afternoon adventure filled with splendid sights, visit Quito's La Merced Church.