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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
President Cordova and Pasaje San Francisco, between Padre Aguirre and General Torres streets, Cuenca City, Ecuador
Open every day
Craft and commercial premises, open every day 08:30 - 18:00
ATTENDING RELIGIOUS EVENTS
ATTENDING CIVIC EVENTS
ATTENDING FOLKLORIC EVENTS
ATTENDING ARTISTIC EVENTS
ATTENDING COMMERCIAL EVENTS
San Francisco Square is located in the Historical Center of Cuenca and contains three spaces of very dynamic social relations: The Square, the Church, and the Little Square.
The Plaza of San Francisco is important for the history of Cuenca, since 1558, one year after the Foundation, Gil Ramírez Dávalos destined this site as a public space for the exchange and sale of agricultural products or "Plaza de la Feria". Therefore, the use given to this Plaza was never changed over the centuries. For 60 years, stalls selling all kinds of clothing have been located here.
The artisans of Otavalo are very popular in San Francisco. They come from an aboriginal ethnic group from the province of Imbabura in the north of Ecuador. They for sale in the portals products such as ponchos, scarves, hats and shawls, articles woven with alpaca or llama wool. It is a unique place, full of color and interculturality, where it is possible to resort to an ancient custom, the "bargaining".
The current commercial use is mainly for non-perishable products: clothes, shoes, household items, etc. In 2019 the Square was reopened, after undergoing modernization works, with the expansion of public space and the relocation of the stalls of 120 vendors in the side areas. A water fountain, new lighting, street furniture and obstacles to the view were removed in order to improve security.
Visitors to the Plaza San Francisco can now move around more comfortably for cultural, religious or craft tourism. The Pasaje León, the Casa de la Mujer and the Centro Municipal Artesanal (CEMUART) were integrated into the Plaza.
Next to the Square, the neoclassical San Francisco Church was completed in 1789. During the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century the chruch underwent several readjustments and remodeling. It was the seat of the Franciscan religious community until the 19th century, hence the origin of its name. Its most valuable asset is the high altar covered in gold leaf and important works of religious art.
The Plazoleta (a piazza), which is integrated as a single complex to the church, is currently used for public performances, social and cultural events in the city.