Fodor's Expert Review Iglesia de la Compañía
The "company" referred to here is the Society of Jesus, the powerful Jesuit order that profoundly influenced religious life in colonial South America. In many cities, Quito included, the local Jesuit church outshone the local cathedral. La Compañía is the most impressive of the capital's 86 churches, with 10 side altars and a high altar plated with gold. The high central nave and the delicacy of its Arab-inspired plasterwork give the church a sumptuous, almost sinfully rich appearance. Indeed, almost half a ton of gold was poured into the ceilings, walls, pulpits, and altars during its 160 years of construction (1605–1765). At the center of the main altar is a statue of the Quiteña saint Mariana de Jesús; her remains are entombed at the foot of the altar. Guided tours in Spanish or English are included in your admission price. If you see nothing else in Quito, don't miss this.