Plaza San Francisco
Iglesia de San Francisco ©
The Plaza San Francisco is a large cobbled square with the western side completely dominated by the enormous façade of the Iglesia de San Francisco and its belltower, and the Monastery of the same name. It is a peaceful place, without the shady benches full of people and the business of Plaza de la Independencia. Inside the church are chapels gilded in gold, splendid altars and many religious paintings and carvings produced by the Quito School. The Monastery holds some priceless examples of Spanish sculpture and art. It is the biggest religious compound in South America, with seven courtyards and buildings stretching behind the church, which only become evident once the visitor has ventured through the stone doorway of the main entrance.