Basilica del Voto Nacional

Essentially the Basilica del Voto Nacional is an attraction in Quito, Ecuador, that has not yet been completed. If asked, locals will tell visitors about the legend that once construction on the Basilica del Voto Nacional is completed in full, it is believed that the world will come to an end. But after a hundred years of construction, the fact that it is technically incomplete is of no concern, as it is one of the most breathtaking structures in all Ecuador.


Constructed on San Juan Hill, the Basilica del Voto Nacional looms over the city and can be seen from anywhere in Quito. This breathtaking Catholic Church was the idea of Father Julio Maria Matovelle, and after years of persuasion, a design was commissioned from Emilio Tarlier, a French architect, who also oversaw construction. Inspired by a wonderful cathedral that was built in Bourges, Tarlier began drawing up the plans in 1890, which they alone took six years to complete. On 10 July 1892, construction work on the Basilica del Voto Nacional begun, to become the biggest gothic cathedral in Latin America.

The church structure is a hundred and fifty meters in length, thirty-five meters in height and thirty-five meters in width. The votive chapels are fifteen meters in height with the dome at seventy three-meters and the towers being more than a staggering seventy-eight meters. Some visitors, who are not afraid of heights, are welcome to climb all the way up onto the roof of the building to enjoy a hundred and seventeen meter panoramic view of the city below. For those who are not thrilled by the outlook of climbing hundreds of stairs will be relieved to know that there is a lift available inside the main church tower. On the outside of the church visitors will see a variety of gargoyles that have been created through inspiration found in the animals of Ecuador, featuring iguanas, tortoises and armadillos. Entrance fees to a few parts of the church is asked, but this gives visitors access to a large portion of the church, including the twenty four chapels, clock tower and bell tower. Refreshments can be enjoyed on the third floor of the church after exploring the beauty and magnificence of the Basilica del Voto Nacional.