The Virgin of Quito

Gazing down upon the historical center of Ecuador’s capital city is a figure known as the Virgin of Quito. Other names for this monument include The Dancing Madonna, The Winged Virgin of Quito and The Virgin of the Apocalypse. The monument is a major city landmark, situated at an altitude of 6,614 feet (3,016 m) on top of “El Panecillo,” a bread-loaf shaped hill in downtown Quito. Bernardo de Legarda, an artist who was born and raised in Quito, constructed it in 1734. Some still refer the figure as “Legarda’s Virgin.” The Virgin of Quito was later rebuilt; she is now 147 feet (45 m) tall. She stands on a globe with her foot on a chained dragon and on her head she wears a crown of stars. Inside the sculpture are stained-glass windows depicting the Virgin Mary, a collection of black and white photographs and a small museum dedicated to the construction of the monument.