Basílica del Voto Nacional – Quito

One of my favourite memories from when I visited Quito 13 years ago was clambering all over the Basílica del Voto Nacional.   So much so that I decided to do it again this trip.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

Exterior views of the Basílica – I really wish I’d remembered to bring my wide-angle lens!

In particular, I loved the scant regard to the OH&S laws that shut down most kinds of fun in Australia and other western countries, and I was keen to see whether it had changed.

One of my strongest memories was walking through the roof of the Basilica over the arches that make up the beautiful domed interior of the church.  Turns out that is still part of the experience, but they have widened the platform significantly, made it much more sturdy, and installed more heavy-duty handrails up to make sure you don’t fall off.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

However, they haven’t/can’t do much to make the vertiginous ascent to the north tower very safe.   Seriously, if you suffer from vertigo – don’t even think of doing this!  And although they have signs saying that children under 5 are not permitted to climb, I saw at least 4 under-5s doing it while I was there!

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

Vertiginous views – looking up the ascent to the north tower (left), and looking down from the north tower (right).

Love the Basílica’s Condors – which are best seen from the north tower.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

A safer and less frightening option is to climb the clock tower.  They were repainting the stairwell while I was there, and the fumes of paint-stripper and new paint, as well as climbing a not insignificant number stairs at altitude made for more than a little light-headedness!

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

One of the great things about climbing the Basilica is the amazing view you get over Quito.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

Views of Quito from the north tower (left) looking towards Old Town, and from the Clock Tower (right) looking towards north Quito

However, you don’t have to brave the tower climbs to get the views.  The good news is that you can get a great view over the Old Town from the safety of the second story of the Basilica.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

From where you can also admire the incredible stained glass windows

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

And the gorgeous interior (to actually go inside it is another entrance fee).

Basílica del Voto Nacional - Quito - Ecuador

 

 

Recommendation:  Don’t climb the north tower if you have vertigo!  You may not want to get too close to the edges in the clock tower either…   Take your time – there are lots of stairs – and remember you are at altitude!

Cost:  $2 to explore the upper reaches of the Basilica.  If you want to go into the main part of the church, it is another $2, which you have to purchase around the side of the cathedral.

Time:  1-1.5 hours to explore.

Like what you have read? Please follow and like me:

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*