City of Quito

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Quito is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet, it is the highest official capital city in the world.

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.

Quito, along with Kraków, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.

The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometres south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 kilometre of zero latitude.

In 1882, insurgents arose against the regime of Dictator Ignacio de Veintimilla.

However, this did not end the violence that was occurring throughout the country.

On July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the Battle of Guayaquil, and later, after more conflict, became the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895.

Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe.

When he returned to Ecuador in 1912 and attempted a return to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912; thrown in prison; and assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison.

His body was dragged through the streets of Quito to a city park, where it was burned.

Quito is also the only capital in the world to be directly menaced by an active volcano.

Pichincha volcano has several summits, among them Ruku Pichincha at 4,700 metres above sea level and Wawa Pichincha at 4,794 metres.

Wawa Pichincha is active and being monitored by volcanologists at the geophysical institute of the national polytechnic university.

The largest eruption occurred in 1660 when more than 25 centimetres (10 in) of ash covered the city.

There were three minor eruptions in the 19th century.

The city occupies a small basin in the great central plateau formed by the volcano Pichincha, the Puengasi ridge, and ridges formed by spurs from the eastern side of Pichincha.

The land upon which Quito is built is uneven and is traversed by two deep ravines (quebradas), one of which is arched over in great part to preserve the alignment of the streets, the drainage of which escapes through a cleft in the ridge northward to the plain of Tumbaco.

The city is in great part laid out in rectangular squares, the streets approximately aligned on the cardinal points of the compass.

The houses of Quito are chiefly built in the old Spanish or Moorish style.

The building material in general use is sun-dried brick, covered in the better houses with plaster or stucco.

The original name of this city during the pre-Hispanic period was Reino de Quito.

Initially the constructions were made of carved stone and sun-dried brick.

Later, Spanish architects started to use different materials for their constructions, which were mainly stones brought from pichincha’s pits.

The 28th of January, 1912, went down in history as a memorable day, when a crowd of people dragged the dead body of General Eloy Alfaro through the streets.

Alfaro was the president of Ecuador, and head of the Liberal Revolution.

He was assassinated in the city’s prison and later incinerated at Parque de El Ejido.