The museum, Museo de la Ciudad, right across from Carmen Alto Church exists for understanding the history of Quito - making a tour mandatory.
The building itself dates back to the 16th century...beginning as Hospital Juan de Dios.
Every hospital had its chapel and morgue. This hospital attended orphans and the homeless in addition to the rest of the sick population. - Hospital came from the word hospitality.
Open Tuesday through Sunday - for a minimal fee, you may propel into another realm, explained to you bit by bit by a local guide. You will emerge appreciating the colonial city in a deeper way.
Tools, clothes and so many other things of long ago make their statement. A very simple, rustic, yet gripping way of life greets you in haunting displays.
The story of how a culture - wrapped around a traditional faith not common in most of the world today - overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles - predominates, but can't be explained.
That beacon of faith, if you look in the right places, still breathes strong in Quito albeit somewhat diluted but still solid. Nowhere else in the world displays its faith as here in my opinion. Why else would it be called a reliquary of faith?
Now other beliefs are coming in to seemingly overthrow it, taking advantage of the humility of the welcoming people that make this land the number one place in the world to retire according to some experts.
Include this museum in your tour, as it connects to Arco de la Reina. Reina de Los Angeles Church - the oldest space of the tour - sadly no longer serves the people, stopped cold by the Church's enemies...yet lives on to give undeniable witness.
It's so worth taking the tour just to admire this old church that fell into the enemy's hands becoming a church in siege. People overflowed into the streets coming to this church receiving miraculous cures.
Of course, there will always be naysayers and denials by those who weren't even there.
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