Plaza San Francisco
The Monastery on Plaza San Francisco © Francesco Bailo
The Iglesia de San Francisco is a peaceful place, without the shady benches full of people and the business of Plaza de la Independencia. Inside, visitors will find chapels gilded in gold, splendid altars and many religious paintings and carvings produced by the Quito School. Its monastery holds some priceless examples of Spanish sculpture and art. It is one of the biggest religious compounds in South America, with seven courtyards and buildings stretching behind the church. These only become evident once the visitor has ventured through the stone doorway of the main entrance. The Iglesia de San Francisco is arguably Quito's greatest tourist attraction and a must-see for travellers in the city.