Basilica del Voto Nacional

Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito

Basilica del Voto Nacional
Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites
Considered the largest church in Quito, this impressive building features fine bronze doors, colorful stained glass windows and a tower with sweeping views of the city.
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3,885 reviews
Very good

Gregory W
Mankato, MN3,032 contributions
Dec. 2021
It's a short hike up hill from the historic center, but Basilica del Voto Nacional is radiant. She reigns supreme above all other churches and religious spaces in the city and worth a visit. There are places to eat in the courtyard behind the church as well as buy souvenirs. It's marketed toward tourists, though still worth a visit. Be sure to walk around the outside of the building to view the "gargoyles" as they reflect animals in the Amazon and surrounding region.
Written 12 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill A
Oak Park, IL68 contributions
Dec. 2021 • Family
It is steep climb to reach the top of the tower above the clock, but the views are worth it. There was a long line to do the walk to the other tower so we continued climbing up. There is a very nice gift shop in the tower.
Written 8 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Minneapolis, MN2,880 contributions
Dec. 2021
Definitely a must see while in Quito. We went on a Sunday during service. Lots of visitors even at this time.
Written 13 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeff C
74 contributions
Aug. 2021
if you want to just go up to the basilica go around to the left to enter. really nice views of the city.helpful hint, when walking down from the top walk sideways and put your hands on the rails as a guide. easier to walk down that way
Written 25 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Konstanz, Germany22 contributions
Nov. 2021 • Solo
Nice Church, Awsome Windows, can totally recomend a visit. A café in Front, then upstairs. Just worth a visit. So get there;-)
Written 20 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John P
10 contributions
Nov. 2021
And for 3 bucks you can get a ticket to climb the towers. Views from the towers are amazing. Lots of steps at the 9300 ft elevation of Quito give you a good work out.
Written 12 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rodney B
Waukesha, WI1,101 contributions
Oct. 2021 • Family
My son and I stopped over here while in Quito. It was $2 to enter the church which has great stained glass, and carvings. In order to go up the towers it is a separate fee of $3 which is worth it. There are a lot of stairs and some tight spiral staircases with low ceilings so watch your head. There is an elevator that goes part of the way up, but we did not take it. There is also a gift shop, a café and an art gallery on the way up. Great views of Quito and unique views of the Basilica. Worth a stop.
Written 25 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Luis C
19 contributions
Sep. 2021
In the morning, and without any hurry, I walked up to the basilica. It was only a few blocks uphill from Pablo’s house, where I was staying. On the way, I took photos of the streets of Quito, and I took my time recording the exterior of the building from different angles. Then, I bought my admission ticket at the window, and I turned it in at the entrance to go inside.

I found the interior completely empty and, right away, thinking that anybody could walk in at any time, I seized the opportunity to capture with my camera the grandeur of the building as it was: by itself, and free of human beings that could distract from its geometries and lights. I had all the columns and arches, the domes, and the very high ceilings to myself, all of it pointing upwards, and pointing beyond, even higher, by inference and by insinuation. But very soon, I noticed the great calm that permeated the place, and on the floor and walls, the divine colors of the light filtering through the stained glass. That morning with a clear sky, the clean sun of the Andes passed neatly through the colored windows illuminating everything with golden and purple tones, and splattering the floor with hazy spots of violet, blue, and pink. I advanced on the central nave with a quiet step as I tried to assimilate the beauty of the whole, trying to not make any noise, or even cast a shadow, so I would not disturb the wonderful peace and the miraculous glory that the temple was so perfectly condensing. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it was built on a spot of the planet with an intense magnetic current. I was feeling a subtle energy in the air, a delicate force that vibrated with a frequency that was imperceptible to my sense of touch, but that I was detecting with some neglected internal organ still unnamed. And after a couple of minutes, I found myself dumbfounded, flabbergasted. I came to a stop as I looked upwards, breathing molecules of tranquility, enraptured by the splendor and the beauty all around me. And I, without being a Catholic, a devotee of Jesus, or a believer in God Our Almighty Father, I felt my heart expanding in my chest, increasing its capacity somehow. I had entered unknowingly into a state of grace that made my body lighter and practically allowed me to levitate over the marble floor. I sat on one of the benches —I had to sit— because I was becoming full of a prodigious miracle. My emotions got the best of me, I don’t know what it was, perhaps just an undiluted and personified cathedral effect, but the truth is that tears came to my eyes and, without thinking, I got on my knees and I thanked the Great Tao, or God, or Krishna, or whatever anyone may call it according to their preference or religion. And I thanked it for giving me this present of an empty basilica so that I could notice its powerful aesthetic effect without any interference and enjoy its serenity for a few minutes.

I also thanked it for the past two weeks, which I had spent traveling through Ecuador on vacation, discovering natural miracles, seeing great friends, meeting charming people, having fun and enjoying every minute, (with the exception, that is, of brief episodes when Loneliness stabbed me in the back with its sharp spear, although they were instrumental to realize important personal insights).

Having expressed my gratitude, I recovered from these strong emotions and decided to sit in lotus position in the middle of the hallway aiming to further absorb the quietude of the chamber and contemplate its artistry. A recent conversation I’d had with several people about the religions of the world and the properties of the Absolute Being came to my mind. I it was fifteen or twenty minutes until a person finally appeared in my peripheral vision and I stood up again.

One thing had become very clear to me: there is a God. I’m not referring to the god of the Catholics, that strange version of Jehovah who forgives sins, and is a father, and is one, and is three persons at the same time. And I’m not referring to Krishna, or to Allah (who is Great), because they are also persons after all, that is to say, manifestations of the Infinite Divine in a form that is very similar, in general, to that of a human being. I’m not talking either about the Great Tao, that complete cosmic force that is, also and at the same time, the law of the universe: an impersonal god that is only form, flow, and energy. It is pointless to debate whether there is a god or not, or whether that god created the universe as something outside and apart from him, (and now he sits to contemplate it from some unknowable dimension of a heavenly nature, with its own features and laws that are different from those of the material world, and from that place, acting against the very same principles and rules that he has established for the correct working of his creation, he intervenes with magical arts in order to fix the problems of his devotees, in response to their prayers and depending on his mood at the time), or whether what we call God is one and the same thing with the universe, (and not something that it created separately and outside of itself, but it is included in every atom and in every photon of light, and it is the same matter and energy that constitute everything, as well as the laws that govern the movements of the galaxies and suns, and the chemical reactions among molecules). None of that matters one fruck, and we’d do best to stop arguing about it. It is absolutely useless and it will lead us nowhere.

What does exist for certain is the divinity in the hearts and minds of human beings. There is something within us that recognizes how fantastic existence is, how incredibly gorgeous nature is, and how strikingly magnanimous we can be —us, the crazy men and women of the world. There exists something within us that can distinguish excellence and envision our highest potential. And we are capable of coming together and, aiming toward that high possibility, we raise fabulous temples that give it form and materiality. It is also useless to argue whether this divinity is to be found inside or outside of us, and whether it created us or we created it in our imagination, in order to have a First Cause that would explain the origin of the ten thousand things. The truth is that we are capable of being, not just good or saintly, but divine. And we’ve been saying and showing this for centuries upon centuries, as we perfected our construction methods from stone monuments to the most complex cathedrals and mosques, synagogues and temples of all kinds that, in spite of our religious and political wars, in spite of all our vile and cruel acts, we keep building when we have time in between battles, because we realize that we can be much better, and that we must continue sculpting in stone our most splendid aspirations, lest we forget what we should be advancing toward. Look what we have created! Our human capacity for godliness is more than enough for us to make a heaven of this Earth, no matter if there exists another divinity or not.
Written 15 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Portland, OR1,924 contributions
Oct. 2021
Don't do this on your first day as the climb both up to the cathedral and the stairs to the tower will wipe you out, even for a healthy active person. Give yourself a few days to acclimate. The views are quite amazing and a great view from every corner, but try to go on a sunny day for the best views.
Written 11 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicki E
Illinois427 contributions
Aug. 2021
From the TeleforiQo, we had the taxi drop us off at the Basilica del Voto Nacional. It’s stoic Gothic styling is so different from all the other churches we saw in Quito. Be sure to look up at the gargoyles that are shaped like Ecuadorian animals. We paid the basic admission to see inside the magnificent church and went up the northwest tower (to the left as you’re facing the front of the basilica) until we reached a bar. A woman there offered to sell us another ticket to keep on climbing, but we said the magic word “cerveza” and she welcomed us into the bar and gave us seats on the balcony with magnificent view scross the city to Virgen and beyond to the mountains. We drank a local beer called LIzama, and it was heavenly (get it? Because we were in a church? But really, it was tasty).
Written 25 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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