1.608 million (2010)
| Sebastian de Benalcazar|
Mauricio Rodas Espinel
| Church of the Society of Jesus, La Capilla del Hombre, Church and Convent of St Francis, El Panecillo, Pichincha Volcano|
Central University of Ecuador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, National Technical University, Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial
Quito , formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters above sea level), it is the highest official capital city in the world. It is located in South America Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 2,671,191 according to the last census (2014), Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of the Metropolitan District of Quito. The canton recorded a population of 2,239,191 residents in the 2010 national census. In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.
The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas. Quito, along with Krakow, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word is Spanish for equator.
Quitos origins date back to the first millennium, when the Quitu tribe occupied the area and eventually formed a commercial center. According to Juan de Velascos 1767 book Historia del Reino de Quito, the Quitu were conquered by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom of Quito about 980 AD. For more than four centuries, Quito was ruled under the kings (shyris).
Caras and their allies were narrowly defeated in the epic battles of Tiocajas and Tixan in 1462, by an army of 250,000 led by Tupac Inca, the son of the Emperor of the Incas. After several decades of consolidation, the Kingdom of Quito became integrated into the Incan Empire. In 1534, the Caras/Quitu people were conquered by the Spanish.
Quito is located in the northern highlands of Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin. The city has been built on a long plateau lying on the east flanks of the Pichincha volcano. The valley of Guayllabamba River where Quito lies is flanked by volcanoes, some of them snow-capped, that can be visible from the city on a clear day. Quito is the closest capital city to the equator.
Quito is the largest city in contribution to national GDP, and the second highest in per capita income after Cuenca. Quito has the highest level of tax collection in Ecuador, exceeding the national 57% per year 2009, currently being the most important economic region of the country, 63 as the latest "study" conducted by the Central Bank of Ecuador.
Quito has the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic center in the Americas. This center was, together with the historic centre of Krakow in Poland, the first to be declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 18 September 1978. The Historic Centre of Quito is located in the center south of the capital on an area of 320 hectares (790 acres), and is considered one of the most important historic areas in Latin America.There are about 130 monumental buildings (which host a variety of pictorial art and sculpture, mostly religion inspired, in a multi-faceted range of schools and styles) and 5,000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties.Museo de Arte Contemporaneas - Located north of Basilica del Voto Nacional, this museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions. The historic building used to be a big military hospital and was renewed for its new purpose.
Casa del Alabado Located just south of Plaza San Francisco, this is the Old Towns newest museum and houses a collection of pre-colonial art. The building is one of the oldest houses in the city.
Museo de la Ciudad - A museum dedicated to the history of Quito. Located just east of the Plaza de Santo Domingo.
La Capilla del Hombre - A museum showcasing the work of legendary Ecuadorian Artist Oswaldo Guayasamin
Ecuador National Museum of Medicine - A museum dedicated to the history of Medicine in Quito, founded by Dr.Eduardo Estrella Aguirre. Dr. Estrella was in the Archives of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain in 1985 and uncovered the lost papers and paintings documenting one of the first expeditions to South America. In Madrid Spain, Dr. Estrella worked for many years and documented his observations in the archive and was able to publish the hard work of Juan Tafalla in a book called Flora Huayaquilensis.
Museo Casa de Sucre - This museum is dedicated to life of Mariscal Antonio Jose de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian independence. The ground floor has an array of weapons and military relics, many of which belonged to Sucre himself. The second floor has been restored to what it might have looked like in Sucres time.
Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador - This art museum houses 5 displays. Each one covers a different time period, ranging from prehistory to modern Ecuador.