Quito is the capital city of Ecuador in South America. It has an estimated population of about 1,900,000. There is confusion about Quito's position as the second highest capital in the world. Some people say it is La Paz, Bolivia, but Sucre is the legal capital of Bolivia. Quito is located about 22 miles south of the equator. A monument marking the equator is known locally as the middle of the world. Quito is the second most heavily populated city in Ecuador after Guayaquil. Quito was named the country's capital for being the original home of numerous pre-Hispanic cultures, for its role in the independence of Ecuador, and because it was an key administrative seat. On February 12, 1949, a realistic broadcast of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds led to citywide panic and the deaths of six people who died in fires set by mobs.
If you get a chance you should visit the Museo del Banco Central. This museum is a showcase of Ecuadorian art, history and culture. On the ground floor it has a collection of pre-colonial potteries, sculptures, gold, and a mummified body. There are also some remarkable distorted models that help evoke the way various parts of Ecuador must have looked like in the past. The main part of this collection is a golden sun mask of the La Tolita culture.
El Panecillo is a hill located in the middle of the city with an altitude of about 9,895 feet above sea level. The monument to Virgin Mary located on top of El Panecillo is visible from most of the city of Quito. This monument is based on a sculpture made by Bernardo de Legarda in the Spanish Colony time known as "La Virgen de Quito".