Best Dinner In Quito

Best Dinner In Quito

Best Dinner In Quito

Best Dinner In Quito – When you think of a hotel, you immediately ask yourself “what is its history?” you don’t ask. Indeed, what we usually want to know is that they have a comfortable bed, a good shower and attentive service. However, as you arrive at the doors of the stunning Casa Gangotena and enter the lobby, one question inevitably arises. With intricate designs, high ceilings and rich tapestry-sized oil paintings, the traces of a long history and a good story can be felt as soon as you step through the door.

In fact, you can’t help but feel the walls of the house, reflecting its proud history as one of Quito’s earliest building blocks. Casa Gangotena has a rich history full of despair, joy, redemption and of course the famous family behind it all. As you begin to learn more about the history of this amazing hotel, you’ll realize that it’s not just a place to stay – it’s a great opportunity to become part of the Casa Gangotena family and witness Quito’s colorful history firsthand. .

Best Dinner In Quito

Best Dinner In Quito

Centuries in the Spanish colony of San Francisco de Quito. Back then, Quito was just a whisper of what it is today. Today it has about three million inhabitants and was originally a small town of 200 people. The colony boasted several churches, private residences of the rich and, above all, many squares. It was a big city in its childhood.

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San Francisco de Quito and San Francisco Plaza (the largest in Quito) was originally founded in 1532 by Sebastián de Belalcazar, but until the 1600s it was the Casa Gangotena (which was then another structure known as the Casa). . de San Miguel) was built by the Ponce Castillejo family in the southwest corner of the Plaza. At that time the squares were used as places for municipal councils, for business between citizens and for markets; therefore a house on the square was often synonymous with a good social position.

Due to its proximity to the massive San Francisco Cathedral and Convent, the house is named after the Roman Catholic saint, St. Michael, who is considered the guardian and protector of the church.

Francisco Ramírez de Arellano, a prospector for minerals, was the first to discover large deposits in Esmeraldas and Santa Barbara before the house was completed. At that time, the house was much smaller than it is today and did not have such an ornate facade.

For its first 200 years, the building was known as Casa de San Miguel, as residents came and went. But in the 18th century a Basque Spaniard, Martin Gangotena, bought the residence, moved there and shortly after renamed it Casa Gangotena.

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Throughout history, the Gangotena family has always been believed to be a wealthy family, but historians believe that when the family first came to Quito, they didn’t have a penny to their name. However, the family quickly prospered due to their entrepreneurial spirit in the growing city. The family later expanded into other fields and eventually became known as prominent industrialists, politicians, academics and landowners.

The San Francisco Plaza is decorated in a French style, as seen in this photo from 1920. Photo from the Archivo Histórico de la Ciudad de Quito via Wikipedia.

The Gangotena family has always played an important and influential role in society, and their names are mentioned throughout the history of Quito. They were benefactors of the convent in San Francisco and were known as friendly and hospitable people, and they held many rallies at their home, which meant that their belongings were taken from them by a friend.

Best Dinner In Quito

Despite its wealth, the building was called “Casa”, which means “house” in Spanish. A luxurious abode has always been and always will be a home in spirit, as Casa Gangotena upholds its long tradition of hospitality and warmth with its exquisite cuisine, impeccable service and relaxing atmosphere.

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Casa Gangotena stood on the edge of a busy plaza in both colonial and modern times, and as such has always been a center of activity and action. As an entrepreneur, the family has thrived in this environment at all times. At the time, Plaza San Francisco was where the main commercial transactions took place in Quito. Casa Gangotena was always open to friends and relatives, and occasionally a Catholic ceremony was also held inside the house. In many cases they have built shops and houses for friends on the facade of the building.

The San Francisco Plaza was used as a Sunday market in the 1870s. Photo from the Archivo Histórico de la Ciudad de Quito.

As a result, the house became a chaotic space filled with constant noise and the pungent smells of herbs and spices wafting through the air. The colorful assortment of people in different houses and different shops resulted in an ever-changing atmosphere of constant movement – a true representation of a bustling, cheerful colonial home. Today it is easy to perceive that Casa Gangotena is more than just a hotel; it still retains the character and feel of that warm and welcoming home.

And then disaster struck. In 1914, the house burned beyond repair. Officially, it was recorded as an electrical problem, but rumors that contradict this theory persist to this day. One of Gangotena’s daughters was said to be engaged to a local gentleman. She broke off the engagement and her despised lover retaliated with arson. While this seems like a drastic way to get revenge, we know that the Gangotena family has risen from the ashes to build something greater than anything the city has ever seen before.

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Almost everything was lost in the fire, but the Gangotena family decided to take the opportunity to transform the building into something completely new. They entrusted the reconstruction project to the Russo brothers, famous Italian architects. Of course, the styles have changed dramatically in the hundreds of years since Casa Gangotena was first built, and the new house has lost its original colonial style, opting for the European architecture that was fashionable at the time. . Most of the materials used in the reconstruction were shipped directly from France, Germany and Italy.

A fire on the property severely damaged the original structure of Casa Gangotena. Photo from the Archivo Histórico de la Ciudad de Quito.

The reconstruction of Casa Gangotena was a testament to their surname. The family, once unable to afford a home, has now grown into a prosperous and wealthy group of industrialists and landowners doing business throughout Ecuador. As a result, they could now afford the luxury of aristocratic possessions, including the tastes and styles of the Rousseau brothers.

Best Dinner In Quito

In 1922 the new and richer Casa Gangotena was completed and the family was able to move again. They continued to improve their home life and possessions in the ever-growing capital city of San Francisco de Quito.

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One of their main requests was to build a canal from the natural spring that flows from Pichincha mountain to their homes. Despite opposition from other people living in the area, he was allowed to build it. Soon, as the city was hit by an unprecedented drought, the opposition quickly dispersed. The family gave access to the municipality to supply the neighborhood with water. In gratitude from Quito, the family didn’t receive their water bill until the house was sold in 2007!

Unfortunately, the Gangotena family has gradually disappeared. After the last two residents of Gangotena, Mimi and Lola, died, the house stood empty for about eight years. In 1978, Quito’s historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the first time, but even with that title, no one was interested in turning the venerable Casa Gangotena into a museum or tourist attraction.

Finally, in 2007, the tired building was bought by Roque Sevilla, a famous economist and former mayor of Quito. Now, as owner of Metropolitan Touring, he dreamed of creating something that had never been done before: transforming this historic jewel into a unique hotel experience. He understood the immense importance of Casa Gangotena in Quito’s history and its significance to every visitor who visited it. His imagination was aided by his frequent visits with his aunt as a child and by his recollection of her former glory. He knew that Casa Gangotena could offer an experience like no other, but he also knew that it would take a lot of work to restore it to its former glory.

The story of Casa Gangotena’s rebirth is filled with blood, sweat and tears. At the time, the building was nearly 100 years old and had partially completely collapsed. Several men managed to do it at the same time

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