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A view of the capital of Ecuador -  San Francisco de Quito or Quito for short - which is the country's second most populous city (after Guayaquil) and one of the highest capitals in South America. It is also the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.  Quito's old city has been declared a world heritage site.
Quito's altitude is approximately 2,800 meters (9,200 ft), making it the second-highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.
Ecuador's capital, Quito (San Francisco de Quito), is built in a valley and on the eastern slope of an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.
The Monument to the Equator, located at San Antonio parish in the canton of Quito, 26 km (16 mi) north of the center of Quito, highlights the exact location of the Equator (from which the country takes its name). The 30-m (98-ft) tall monument was constructed between 1979 and 1982 of iron and concrete, and then faced with cut and polished andesite stone.
Although the actual equator is 100 yards to the north, this monument outside of Quito, Ecuador, commemorates the equatorial line as surveyed by the French Geodesic Mission in the late 1700s.  The location is known as Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World).
Another view of Quito from El Panecillo (Bread Loaf Hill).
The Virgin of the Apocalypse statue overlooking historic Quito from El Panecillo hill.
A statue of the Virgin of the Apocalypse on El Panecillo (Bread Loaf Hill) overlooking Quito. The 45 m- (148 ft-) tall aluminum statue depicts the Virgin Mary with wings.
The Palacio de Carondelet (Carondelet Palace) on Independence Square in Quito. The building serves as the seat of government and is the presidential residence. The luxury Hotel Plaza Grande on the right takes its name from the original appellation for the square. Historic Independence Square and its surrounding buildings have all been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Palacio de Carondelet (Carondelet Palace) on Plaza Grande in the heart of the historic center of Quito serves as the residence of Ecuador's president. The plaza is surrounded by government buildings and historic churches.
The front facade of the Basilica of the National Vow (Basílica del Voto Nacional) in Quito. The Catholic church is meant to serve as a perpetual reminder of the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart. Groundbreaking took place in 1892 and the formal consecration occurred in 1988. Technically the basilica remains unfinished, since, according to local legend, its completion would signal the end of the world.  The edifice is the largest Neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas.
Inside the Basilica of the National Vow (Basilica del Voto Nacional) in Quito.
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