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Victoria Church “Nuestra Senora del Carmen” (Heritage)

History

The first references about this church date back to the XIX century, in the year of 1835, when it was a small chapel made of cane and bijao. What is officially registered is that the church was located in Quito Avenue between Aduana Street (existing Clemente Ballen) and Municipalidad Street (currently 10 de Agosto), in 1887.

The church of Our Lady of Carmen was initially built in wood. Canon Nicanor Corral, a member of the Diocesan Council of the Cathedral Church, requested the Municipality for a lot within the premises of Victoria Square to build a temple on July 1, 1888. The city council welcomed the favorable report about the request made by the canon, during the session held on December 21, 1888.

In 1934, the construction began by initiative of priest Carlos Maria de la Torre, who later was appointed Cardinal. The architectonic design was the work of architect Paolo Russo; the construction was in charge of architect Luigi Fratta and the bas-reliefs belong to Italian artist Emilio Soro Sguria, who lived in Guayaquil.

That year the history of the church took a new turn when it was handed to the parish of the Carmelitas Descalzos priests, by disposition of the VII Bishop of Guayaquil Carlos Maria de la Torre Nieto, and the name was changed to “Our Lady of Carmen”.

In 1935 the first stone was placed, and after six years, in 1941, the blessing ceremony of the façade and the two towers was held. The structure was affected by the 7.7 earthquake occurred on May 13, 1942.

Attractions

The central nave reminisces the European medieval churches, which had an architectonic design that evoked the body of the crucified; the altar represented the head, since the mystery of conscious life occurs in the mind; the apse corresponded to the heart, which was the most illuminated place of the building thanks to the natural light that descended from the upper windows symbolizing the light of love.

A circular apse can be appreciated at the upper part of the Church, in which can be observed symbolic figures of the four evangelists: Saint Mathew accompanied by an angel that symbolizes Knowledge; Saint Luc accompanied by a bull chewing its food as an allegory to Will; Saint Marcus accompanied by a lion representing Boldness; and finally, Saint John accompanied by the eagle as a symbol of Silence or Self-fulfillment.  A little bit further, there are three steps that lead to the altar, which represent the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Address: 
Quito Avenue and 10 de Agosto Street
Parish: 
9 de Octubre
Horario: 
Mass schedule: Mondays to Saturdays: 07h00 and 18h30. Sundays: 07h00, 08h30, 10h00 and 18h30
Photo gallery: 
Interior of the Church (Jose Dimitrakis)
Interior of the Church (Jose Dimitrakis)
Vault with allegory of the Virgin and the Saints (Jose Dimitrakis)
Dome of the Church (Felipe Cucalon)
Facade of the Church (Courtesy of Vistazo)
Facade of the Church (Courtesy of Vistazo)