Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
Construction of La Compañía ran from 1605 to 1765. During the colonial period, the church’s bell tower was the tallest structure in Quito, but it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1859. Rebuilt within six years, it was again felled shortly after by another earthquake and was never rebuilt. The church’s floor plan is in the shape of a Latin cross, with a lavishly decorated central nave, 10 side altars, and a gold-plated main altar.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Church of the Society of Jesus is a must-see for art and architecture lovers and history buffs.
Book a skip-the-line ticket online to save time at entry.
Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month.
Guided tours in Spanish or English, which take about one hour, are offered daily and included in the price of admission.
No photos or videos are allowed inside the church.
How to Get There
The Church of the Society of Jesus is located within walking distance of all Old Town attractions and hotels. Most visitors arrive as part of a Quito sightseeing tour, with a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or by public transport—several bus and trolleybus routes stop nearby.
When to Get There
The church is open from 9:30am to 6:30pm Monday through Thursday, 9:30am to 5:30pm Friday, 9:30am to 4:15pm Saturday, and 12:30pm to 4:15pm Sunday. If you want to avoid the crowds and tour groups, visit in the morning on a weekday.
Quito School of Art
The first Jesuit priests arrived in Quito in 1586 with the mission to establish a church, school, and monastery. Shortly thereafter, they began training indigenous artists in European art forms, which led to the creation of the Quito School (Escuela Quiteña). Much of the church’s artwork was done by Quito School artists and incorporates both indigenous and European themes.
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