Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cuenca - Ecuador

I have 4 cards from Ecuador and all of them are from Unesco sites, one from each site. Cuenca was the only site i was still missing but now with this card sent by Agata, i've all the sites from this country!!! Having all the sites from a certain country, always makes me happy...
The Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is on the WHS list since 1999.

Photo by Patricio Hidalgo
The Old Cathedral of Cuenca or Iglesia del Sagrario (Church of the Shrine) in Cuenca was the main place of Spanish worship during the time of Spanish colonization; it functions today as the Museum for Religious Art. It is located at the Parque Calderon, opposite the New Cathedral.
Planning for the church started in 1557 and construction began ten years later, using stones for the foundation and walls from the ruins of Tomebamba. During the colonial period the church was the main center of worship for the "Parish of the Spaniards"; it was reserved for the people from Spain, while indigenous people had to stay outside or worship elsewhere. 
 In 1787 the bishopric was established in Cuenca, and the church became a cathedral. The new tower erected in 1868 carries a memorial plate: "Torre más célebre que las pirámides de Egipto" (Tower more famous than the Egyptian pyramids) in reference to the use of the old tower as a key reference point for the French Geodesic Mission in 1736, which determined the arc of the meridian. In 1880 construction for the New Cathedral was begun.
With the consecration of the New Cathedral, the Old Cathedral ceased to be used for regular services. After a major renovation that started in 1999 the Old Cathedral serves today as the "Museum for Religious Art" and a venue for concerts and cultural events. - in: wikipedia

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