Old Quito has been something I have treasured along all my life. Not surprisingly I was born there at a time when the city was a bit more than the colonial downtown. Thus I grew up surrounded by magnificent monuments and neighborhoods. But don’t be misleaded: Many of them were sometimes in bad shape or neglected by simple centuries-long use with little care.
Nevertheless, when I was a teenager, my friends and I used to walk along those streets, sometimes very narrow, at early down or even before. At that time, and with very few people walking around, it was possible to recognize all the beauty and its historical connotations.
Now-a-days there have been a deep change: Most monuments have been refurbished and lighted so one can admire them in full view, and the streets show their charm.
Earthquakes –along centuries- have charged their toll, as well. Not surprisingly some temples such as La Merced, San Francisco, La Compañía, suffered badly. However it took great pains and lots of time to fix them up.
Last weekend my wife and I walked around old downtown and rediscoveded much of it: San Francisco was unbilievably sparkling with its own beauty, not to mention the most significant monuments as La Compañía, La Merced, Cantuña chapel, etc., which have all been put on at its best.
How lucky we are in that we can visit our old magnificent place whenever we feel fit, even some places that we have even avoided for decades, as San Marcos quarter, La Ronda, El Panecillo, La Loma… and so on.
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