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Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito

(2,600+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site
Reminiscent of some of Europe's finest cathedrals, Basilica del Voto Nacional stands as one of the city's most prominent landmarks. This imposing Neo-Gothic church boasts dual towers climbing to a height of 115 m (377 ft). Though begun in 1892, the church did not receive consecration until 1988, and technically remains unfinished. Enter the historical building to marvel at its cavernous sanctuary, wandering through the aisles to take in the bronze images, stained glass windows, and other decorations. Try steeling yourself to climb up the towers' internal staircase--you'll be rewarded with both a lofty vantage point to the church's interior and a sweeping view of the surrounding historical city on the outside. Don't miss the church's defining feature: instead of traditional gargoyles, it's decked with carvings of sharks, penguins, iguanas, monkeys, and other native species. Add Basilica del Voto Nacional and other attractions to your Quito trip itinerary using our Quito family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • An impressive cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows and a heart shaped window which looks straight at a huge Virgin statue atop a hill some distance away.  more »
  • The ground floor and towers of the basilica can be visited, although they are 2 different tickets are required. It is impressive to witness this amazing construction and the view offered in the towers...  more »
  • Take the time to climb the stairs to the top of the bell tower for amazing views of the historic city center in Quito. The wooden walkway over the roof to the open air lookout is fun to do on a sunny ...  more »
Google
  • I'm split between five stars for entertainment value and one star for quality of the building. The basilica was started in the late 1800s and finished in 1934 (if I remember correctly). This makes it fairly different from the older churches for a few reasons, namely that the quality of construction is absolutely laughable (hence entertainment value). The entire church is built from large molded pieces of concrete, as opposed to the stone construction of older works. Rain damage is apparent, and in some places you wonder how long the building can last. In other places, such as the tower, you can see where stones were literally drawn onto to concrete, which more makes the whole building feel cheap rather than adding to the ambiance. Nothing inside the building is particularly ornate, and the stained glass windows are of lesser quality than those in the other churches. Graffiti is everywhere. One of the advantages to this cheap, modern building, however, is that most of it is open to the public. You can go upstairs, climb towers, and generally run amok taking photos, so it feels more casual than the competition. It's also less expensive to get in. It may be worth a visit. I'm glad I went.
  • To me it was all about the experience of the climb. The Clock tower has a small spiral staircase. The other one has 2 set of stairs. the first one pretty inclined and small and the second one also inclined but with an added intensity because you are outside of the tower with a small rest in the middle. Definitely not for people afraid of heights or people unsure of their leg strength. Specially for the climb down
  • Beautiful basilica! Large building with spectacular views. The stained glass is beautiful!
  • Beautiful despite not being as ornate as some of the older churches. It felt like a mix of austere and ornate depending on what detail you were focusing on. The chapel in the back, where you can't take photos, is probably my favorite part. Honestly, if you won't be in Paris or Rome any time soon, this is a must see in Quito. For a truly extraordinary experience, find a beautiful day and climb the stairs and catwalks to the numerous towers that overlook the city. You'll be rewarded with the proverbial 'million-dollar view' (in this case probably much, much more) and some moments of quivering climbing the precipitous stairs. While it's hard to capture unique angles in a church as photographed as this one, I've definitely tried and you can see attempts with my attached photos.
  • The oldest neo-gothic church in the Americas! A must see in Quito! Very I treating architecture, and very different from the other architecture in the city. The typical gargoyles have been replaced with animals of Ecuador (turtles, iguanas, condors, armadillos). It's not yet finished, and locals say that if it ever is, that will be a signal of the end of the world. For $2 you can go in and climb the steps to the too for a great view of Quito.