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Monastery of El Carmen Alto

Monastery of El Carmen Alto

Monastery of El Carmen Alto

Monastery of El Carmen Alto

Monastery of El Carmen Alto

Monastery of El Carmen Alto


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Schedules: Wednesday to Sunday: 09:30 a 17:30
Phone: 2955817
Address: García Moreno Oe5-131 and Rocafuerte
Price: Price: adults: 3,00. Students: 2,00. Children (12 years) and senior citizens: 1,00

It exhibits works from the XVII, XVIII, XIX and XX centuries by artists such as Bernardo Rodríguez, Luis Ruiz and Victor Mideros.


The Monastery of el Carmen de San José was the first of the Order of Carmelitas Descalzas (Discalced Carmelites) in the ancient Real Audiencia (Chancellery) of Quito.


Established in 1653, it constitutes one of the religious icons with the greatest transcendence for the city’s inhabitants, given that Santa Mariana de Jesús died in this house (1618-145), also known as the Azucena (Lilly) of Quito.


Upon the destruction of the convent of the Carmelites in Latacunga in 1698, the community sought refuge in Quito, but given that the presence of more than 21 black habit nuns in a single monastery was prohibited, a new house needed to be established, which was named the primeval monastery, Carmen Antiguo (Ancient Carmen) or Carmen Alto (High Carmen)


It is located on García Moreno and Rocafuerte, across from the Museum of the City, along the “Street of the Seven Crosses”. There has been a museum open in the monastery since 2013, occupying the two most ancient cloisters; there, one can appreciate the material and immaterial heritage that has been preserved by the Carmelites for more than 360 years, as part of a modern exhibit that displays religious works of art from both anonymous and recognized artists from Quito.


The tour allows visitors to learn of the life of Mariana de Jesús through the brush of colonial painters Hernando de la Cruz (¿1592?-1646), Joaquín Pinto (1842-1906) and Víctor Mideros (1888-1967).


Among the main pieces of visual imagery of the monastery, we can find small traditionalist images from the XVIII and XIX centuries, which make up the “belén Carmelita”, a splendid pyx of precious metals and stones, or the nearly life-size sculptural ensemble of the Dormition of the Mother of God (XVIII century), among others.


It is not only possible to approach the historical heritage here, given that it is a live space, inhabited by the Discalced Carmelite community, which is why visitors are able to acquire handcrafted products made by the nuns, such as: wines, mistelles, cookies, embroideries, etc.



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Address: Av. Amazonas N79-39 (Bicentenario Convention Center), Phone: (593 2) 299-3300 al 30, ext.1018, Email: comunicacion@quito-turismo.gob.ec