Holy architecture

After travelling for so long I have seen many, MANY churches. So it takes a very special church to impress me. The Basílica del Voto Nacional ("Basilica of the National Vow") in Quito in Ecuador did just that.

[Below] Gargoyles are usually in the form of grotesque mythical creatures. The tops of the Basílica del Voto Nacional are surrounded by animals endemic to Ecuador. These include: Blue-footed booby and frigatebirds (seen below); pelicans; Andean condors; iguanas; and turtles.

[Below] Friends taking shelter from the rain on the steps of the basilica.

This Roman Catholic church is amazing. Even Pope John Paul II visited it twice and declared immaculate. The church technically remains "unfinished." The local legend says that when the basilica is completed, the end of the world will come.

You can climb to the very top of the basilica, crossing wooden planks and scaling up narrow, metal ladders to dizzying heights. This was especially a safety hazard during my visit, when there was a lightning storm. Safety issue? Well, in the words of my Ecuadorian friends, "You can do anything you want in Ecuador!"

[Below] I managed to creep into the cemetery which is found in the basement of the church. It was an underground maze made of tombs. Aside from the main entrance, the passageways were completely dark... and very creepy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Related Posts

- Iguanas in Ecuador
- Chiropractic in Ecuador
- Horrid beasts and mutations from the Galapagos Islands