Virgin of the Panecillo | Ecuador Photo Spot

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Virgin of the Panecillo-Photo by Luis Desiro

The Virgin of the Panecillo is a 41m tall statue (including base) of a winged Virgin Mary that stands on the Panecillo hilltop in Quito, Ecuador. Also referred to as the Virgin of Quito, this is the highest and tallest statue in all of Ecuador. It is even taller than the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro. Spanish sculptor Agustín de la Herrán Matorras created the statue of aluminum and erected it in 1975. The design is a modern copy of an eighteenth-century statue located in a church in the capital and is unique in that it is one of the only art pieces of a Madonna with wings. Few spots in the region are as iconic as this massive piece, and the hilltop views are also fantastic for photography. Several lookouts and other street photo opportunities exist among the shops and stalls to explore. As well there is a chapel inside the base of the statue. Exercise caution parking here as crime is a problem in this area, and avoid taking a cab if you can as the cabbies here are reputed to add a surcharge to take you back down. Alternately you can get there by climbing the 442 stairs from the historic district. (Quito, Ecuador)