Metropolitan Touring Adds a New Tour Through the Art and History of World Heritage-Listed Quito, Ecuador

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The program explores three eras of Ecuador's history: the pre-Colombian, the colonial and the contemporary.

We know and love our city well. So this tour is close to our hearts. We look forward to sharing the wonders of our capital with art-lovers the world over.

Ecuador’s capital has been enjoying a renaissance to rival many cities. Its historic centre – the largest and least-altered in the Americas – has benefited from $250 million in investment over the last decade. Its spectacular architecture and dramatic setting amid the high Andes convinced UNESCO to name it the first World Heritage Site city in 1978.

Some three decades later, the city is increasingly-popular with foreign travellers, with numbers growing year-on-year. Visitors have been enjoying its regenerated historic heart, staying at new boutique hotels, dining in a variety of restaurants and enjoying a number of fine museums. The capital’s hotel and restaurant offer in its modern neighbourhoods has also improved hugely.

With its headquarters in Quito, Metropolitan Touring naturally organizes several tours of the city. Its newest – Quito, a journey through art and history – follows a trail through the city that art-loving visitors will be truly tempted to follow.

The programme explores three eras in the country’s history: the pre-Colombian, the colonial and the contemporary. “We know and love our city well,” says Maria Cecilia Alzamora, Vice-President Incoming Tourism. “So this tour is close to our hearts. We look forward to sharing the wonders of our capital with art-lovers the world over.”

The itinerary begins in the Old Town, with a visit to the newly-opened Casa del Alabado museum, a world-class display of the cosmovision and artistic production of pre-Colombian Man in Ecuador. The museum is housed within one of Quito’s oldest mansions, stunningly-restored.

A short walk from the museum rises the imposing church of La Compañía de Jesús, built by the Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries and regarded by many as the finest example of Baroque on the continent, shining tip to toe in extravagant gold leaf.

After lunch, the itinerary switches to the contemporary art scene at the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man), the dream-child of Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999), considered among the great artists in Latin America. The large, striking structure pays homage to humanity through the artist’s powerful and at times harrowing expressionist canvasses.

“Quito, a journey through art and history” begins operating in June 2010. For more information about the itineraries, see http://www.metropolitan-touring.com

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Carolina Alban
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