Museo Franciscano

Museum in Quito

Image by Anton_Ivanov Shutterstock

To the right of the Iglesia de San Francisco’s main entrance, and within the Convent of St Francis, this museum contains some of the church’s finest artwork, including paintings, sculpture and 16th-century furniture, some of which is fantastically wrought and inlaid with thousands of pieces of mother-of-pearl. The admission fee includes a guided tour in English or Spanish.

Good guides will point out Mudejar (Moorish) representations of the eight planets revolving around the sun in the ceiling, and will explain how the light shines through the rear window during the solstices, lighting up the main altar. They’ll also demonstrate an odd confessional technique, where two people standing in separate corners can hear each other while whispering into the walls.


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