Basílica del Voto Nacional

The Basilica of the National Vow (Spanish: Basílica del Voto Nacional) is a Roman Catholic church located in the historic center of Quito, Ecuador. It is sometimes also called the Catedral Consagración de Jesús or the Basílica de San Juan. It is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas.


The basilica arose from the idea, proposed by father Julio Matovelle in 1883, of building a monument as a perpetual reminder of the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart. President Luis Cordero issued the decree on July 23, 1883, and it was carried out by president José María Plácido Caamaño on March 5, 1884. The congress, in accordance with the year's budget, designated 12,000 pesos for the construction - 1,000 pesos per month, beginning in 1884. By the decree of July 3, 1885, the fourth Quitense Provincial Council turned the construction of the basilica into a religious commitment in the name of the country. In 1887, the Issodum Fathers began construction for five years, with the approval of Pope Leo XIII. The Oblato fathers donated the land for the basilica. To continue construction, donations were accepted from believers, who provided stones in exchange for engraving their names on them. In 1895, the state established a tax on salt to continue the building.

In 1901, Father Matovelle and his Community of Missionary Monks, took charge of the construction at the request of Archbishop Pedro Rafael González Calisto. The building was designed by architect Emilio Tarlier at the cost of 40,000 French francs. Tarlier was inspired by the Bourges Cathedral. On July 10, 1892, the first stone was placed. Between 1892 and 1909, the Heart of Mary Cathedral was constructed. The basilica was blessed by Pope John Paul II on January 30, 1985, and it was consecrated and inaugurated on July 12, 1988.

The basilica remains remains technically "unfinished." Local legend says that when the Basílica is completed, the end of the world will come.


The basilica is the most important work of Neogothic Ecuadorian architecture and is one of the most representative of the Americas. It is the largest neogothic basilica in the New World. The building is noted for its grotesques in the form of native Ecuadorian animals, such as armadillos, iguana, and Galapagos tortoises.

The Basilica is 140 meters long and 35 meters wide. It is 30 meters high in the sanctuary, 15 meters high in the votive chapels, 74 meters high in the transept, and 115 meters high in the two frontal towers. In the sanctuary, there are 14 bronze images representing 11 apostles and three evangelists. In the crypt, there is a pantheon containing the remains of several heads of state.

Visitors are able to see the sanctuary for free, while access to the rest of the Basilica ranges from $1–3. Visitors are able to climb to the top of the towers. From the highest point of the main tower, one can see the city and the surrounding mountains.

Building Activity

  • fabian Mosquera
    fabian Mosquera commented
    A thing few people know its that this church, which style is neo-gothic, is the biggest one in all the american continent, even bigger than St. Patrick church in New York. This church has an interesting fact, which is that was build with money that was given by 3 different presidents of the Ecuador and at the beginning people used to pay to be buried in the backyard of this church, just for the record there were buried lot of people that gave money when the church was building.
    about 4 years ago via Mobile
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 9 media and uploaded a media file
    Ecuador location map
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