Plaza de la Independencia
Plaza de la Independencia, Quito © Byron.calisto
The Plaza de la Independencia has always been the heart of Quito. As the hub of the old centre, it is the best place to sit, enjoy a meal, and people-watch. The City Hall, the cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Government's Palace are all located around the square. The cathedral is the oldest church in South America, and is one of the city's most impressive historical and architectural sites. Both the Government Palace and the cathedral were scenes of shocking murders. In 1875, President García Moreno was murdered by machete, and in 1877 the Bishop of Quito was poisoned during a Good Friday Mass. But despite this gory history, the Plaza Grande is now the happy, atmospheric heart of Quito and should be the first stop for travellers.