Quito, Ecuador

BOTTOM LEFT: La Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) is located at the San Antoñio area of the canton of Quito. The monument commemorates the first Geodesic Mission of the French Academy of Sciences. That is where Louis Godin, Pierre Bouguer, and Charles Marie de La Condamine first determined the equatorial line in 1736. Unfortunately, their magnetic measurements were flawed. GPS measures proved that the actual equator is located 250 meters from the monument. Today, a sign states: “Ecuador in the middle of the world; Latitud: 00° 00’ 00’’, calculated with GPS.”

BOTTOM RIGHT: In the 1950s, local authorities and religious leaders stood looking at El Panecillo, a loaf-shaped, 656-foot-high (200 meters) hill in central Quito. They agreed that the hilltop, visible throughout the city, was the perfect place to erect a statue. After years of debate, they decided that the statue would be a large replica of the Virgin of Quito, a 48-inch-tall wooden sculpture created by an artist named Bernardo de Legarda in 1734. Designed and built by the Spanish sculptor Agustín de la Herrán Matorras, the statue is made from 7,400 pieces of aluminum, with each piece clearly numbered. The statue was then disassembled, shipped to Ecuador, and assembled again on top of the base. The statue was finished on March 28, 1975.

Grade: A

REFERENCE: Google Earth

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