Cities are known and discovered throughout their neighborhoods, spaces that reveal many of the metropolis origins as well as its transformations and future perspectives. They spread identity and make visitors fall in love with these places.
QUITO, Ecuador July 03, 2019
Cities are known and discovered throughout their neighborhoods, spaces that reveal many of the metropolis origins as well as its transformations and future perspectives. They spread identity and make visitors fall in love with these places. It is the color and flavor that you can experience as a tourist.
One of these sites is La Mariscal, an emblematic neighborhood located in the northern center of the city of Quito, Ecuador, which evolved in the mid-20th century as an urban development concept that left behind early Quito’s colonial model. A different public and private space model made its way, with the first steps toward a more complex territorial dynamism and, without a doubt, it is more attractive.
One of the first families that moved to this area was the Jijón Larrea family. They built La Quinta Circasiana in 1890 on land purchased from the native community of Santa Clara de San Millán. This move is an example of social movement from the Quito’s Historical Center to other spaces that gradually created what is now the metropolis. View from the distance, a constant and definitive transformation that today captivates tourists.
But let's look at the history of this fascinating district. In 1918, La Mariscal adopted the idea of a “Garden City”, European style characterized by the construction of beautiful and large green spaces on public lands, taking the name of Antonio José de Sucre Quarter. The brothers, Cesar and Carlos Mantilla Jácome, built the national racetrack in Avenida Colón and began to organize this area with small palaces, castles and villas of wealthy families. The Historic Center ceased to be the space of life and coexistence to be “on the outskirts, the edge, in the suburbs”.
In the 1950s, priority was given to the construction of new style Art Deco houses, the first buildings were raised, and then it became a commercial and touristic area. In other words, it took shape in the housing segment as well as in the culture, cuisine, education and hospitality services.
In line with the above, La Mariscal was established as a neighborhood that concentrates a lot of Quito’s history and culture, so it is the perfect place to visit and discover many attractions. One of them is Abya Yala (@AbyaYalaed) Museum, which exhibits elements and archaeological pieces, along with ethnography. The National Museum of Ecuador (@MuseoNacionalEcuador) equally features the finest work of plastic artists, with around 800 sculptures, paintings, drawings, engravings and photographs. It is a space that allows the tourist to discover the many facets and social, economic, political, and artistic expressions which today make up Ecuador.
Furthermore, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (@casadelacultura) is the most important and influential cultural and arts institution in Ecuador. It´s construction began in 1944 with the assistance of Benjamín Carrión, a journalist from Quito, and the support of the former Ecuadorian President Carlos Arroyo del Río.
Your visit must also include Centro Cultural Benjamín Carrión, a place that promotes philosophy and literature as well as the National Museum Historical Archive and Library, that preserves Ecuador’s historical memory, which is no doubt a set of extraordinary sites in Quito.
If you are interested in theater and independent filmmaking, you must visit “El Útero” (@eluteroespaciosociocultural) multidisciplinary space as well as the UIO Microteather (@microuio). In addition, it is worth visiting the Kingman Gallery (@kingmangalería) that collects and projects the life and work of the great Ecuadorian master of the 20th century, Eduardo Kingman, “Painter of the Hands”.
The ideal complement to your tour of La Mariscal, the places to taste the food and buy handicrafts from Quito and Ecuador, as the Gallery Ecuador Gourmet, place where you can taste typical dishes, fine scent chocolate, local coffee and honey, and buy handicrafts, jewelry, fabrics, among many other local high quality and original products (@galeríaecuador). The Handicraft Market (@GoRaymi), one of the largest references of local products, is the perfect place to find a unique souvenir from the city, with brightly-colored fabrics, embroidered garments, tapestries, paintings, Toquilla Straw hats, handbags and jewelry with an infinite number of designs; along with necklaces, made with specially brought seeds from the Ecuadorian Amazon and musical instruments as quenas (indigenous flutes), rondadores, and ocarinas. A place full of life, tradition, and national culture.
But this neighborhood history is also shown intact in several monumental buildings, one of them turned into the extraordinary Hotel Boutique Cultura Manor (@culturamanor), original headquarters of the oldest and most prestigious club of the city and where the elite gathered to talk and discuss business and politics. Today, it is set up to welcome you, proposing a style, design, and decoration that fuse the art schools of Quito and Florence. A reference and emblematic place of what it means, and it is La Mariscal in Quito.
This residence, built in the post-Colonial era, took seven years for its reconstruction due to the variety of original details that had to be recovered and restored. Its facades of white tall walls, crowned with towers, a traditional green tiled roof, and a large patio, allow you to live the experience of a neighborhood with lots of flavor, tradition, and elegance.
There are hundreds of stories and memories in the architecture and design of this mansion. One of them was all the technology used to transplant ten palm trees, 14 meters high, from Quito, to place them intact in the garden that surrounds this place.
This hotel's walls are decorated with paintings by the Ecuadorian artist Fausto Merchán as well as the Virgin of Quito and the Angel of the Annunciation by the Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli.
At the main entrance, there is a lamp originally from Hungary, which is an artifact that incidentally survived both world wars. It´s impressive library has about 4,000 books available to the guests to borrow.
This House has received several awards, among them are: the Ornamental Architecture Award, back in 1933; the Best Tourism Project of Quito in 2015; the Best Restoration in 2017; and the Ecuador's Leading Boutique Hotel in 2018 by the World Travel Awards. Prizes that show the beauty of the building as well as the efforts to preserve it and turn it into an icon.
Cultura Manor is located where the old city ends and the modern city begins, a few steps away from all that happens in Quito regarding art and culture, in the epicenter of La Mariscal.
You can discover the city and stay in this neighborhood, taking as a starting point Cultura Manor and appreciating the historical, economic, and urban process that transformed and made Quito a metropolis that is exceptional, assorted, diverse, fun, surprising, exquisite, and very attractive; in a word, it is cosmopolitan.
For more information contact:
César García Pavón
(+52) 55 55 43 30 59
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