Quito, ecuador castles (or castillos) are in danger of being torn down _ miami herald

Many of the castillos de Quito, designed by Ruben Vinci, a Mexican immigrant with a flair for the fantastic, were granted architectural protection, but the economic forces were simply too strong. Simple italian vegetarian recipes In a neighborhood zoned for high rises, the castles are seen as a burden.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Everyday italian vegetarian recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.


The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Easy italian vegetarian recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Best italian vegetarian recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values. German wedding cake recipes This is one of the few “castles” that has been preserved as a hotel.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Easy mexican vegetable recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Authentic mexican vegetable recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. German food easy recipes But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Mexican breakfast recipes chilaquiles But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Mexican breakfast recipes eggs But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values. Mexican breakfast recipes Here, the Castillo Larrea is almost lost in the surrounding construction.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Mexican breakfast recipes huevos rancheros But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values. Free mexican recipes with pictures One of the more intact buildings is the headquarters of the Rickie department store.

The “castles” of Quito, Ecuador were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Authentic mexican recipes with pictures But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values. Easy mexican recipes with pictures Here, the inside of the “Rickie” castle, one of the more intact buildings of the era.

Jose Cuevas, the owner of the “Rickie” castle in Quito, Ecuador. Italian recipes cookies The “castles,” were built in the 1930s and 1940s for the city’s high society. Indian recipes cookies But they’re increasingly being threatened by changing tastes and soaring land values.

For more than 80 years, this Andean capital has been guarded by a strange array of kitschy castles — brimming with turrets and towers, spires and faux drawbridges, Moorish cupolas and sweeping staircases.

In a city internationally renowned for its colonial architecture (its historic center has been a United Nations World Heritage Site since 1978) the castillos de Quito have often been dismissed as architectural oddities and mid-century eyesores.

Despite being protected by the city, some have been destroyed outright and others have been modified beyond recognition. Japanese cuisine recipes with pictures Of the 15 castles that Hector Lopez, a researcher who blogs about Quito’s architecture, has identified in the city, perhaps five retain much of their original charm, he said. Best recipes cooks illustrated Mexican immigrant

To understand how these Disney-worthy fortresses ended up in the South American highlands is to know the story of Ruben Vinci, a Mexican immigrant with a flair for the fantastic.

Read More: After the Martians invaded Ecuador the real tragedy began

Vinci is thought to have arrived in Ecuador at the beginning of the 1900s and started working in the southern town of Riobamba. Easy italian recipes with pictures But his big break came in the 1930s when Carlos Larrea, an Ecuadorian diplomat and medieval scholar, approached Vinci about designing a home that reflected his interests.

What emerged was a three-story castle with multiple towers, a moat and a drawbridge — all surrounded by an English-style garden.

In the following years, Vinci was on a hot streak, building more than a dozen palazzos and castles for Quito’s high society.

Few know who Vinci is now, but “there was a time where he was super famous,” Lopez said. Authentic italian recipes with pictures “He was even decorated by Ecuador’s congress.”

Read More: Ecuador’s artisans can fix broken noses, broken saints

Romulo Moya Peralta, a member of the International Committee of Architectural Critics and the director of Quito’s architectural magazine, Trama, said Vinci’s buildings are an eclectic mix of medieval, neo-Gothic and neo-Moorish styles.

Vinci’s own home (now a restaurant) has a domed, Arabic-looking roof and walls studded with river rock. Mexican recipes for cookies Another castle is being used as a political campaign headquarters and is splashed in garish orange and yellow, leading one tourist to speculate it might have been built by drug dons in the 1980s.

Whether or not the castles are considered in “good or bad” taste by today’s standards, they represent a special time in Quito’s history, Moya said. The best mexican recipes cookbook “These castles are unique and exceptional architectural works and deserve to be protected,” he added.

But even during the boom, there were the beginnings of a backlash, said Angelica Arias, the director of Quito’s Institute for Patrimony, which protects Ecuador’s historic buildings.

“They were very ornamental,” she said of the homes, “and at one time people were complaining that Quito looked like it was filling up with little cakes.” In other words, gaudy and overwrought houses. Authentic mexican recipes cookbook Shaky ground

But the castles were built unwittingly in enemy territory. Mexican themed dinner party recipes Over the years, the Mariscal Sucre neighborhood, where most of the buildings are, became Quito’s new commercial hub.

Many of the residential castles were hastily turned into offices, hotels and restaurants. Best dinner recipes for two Their once-sweeping gardens became prime real estate to be sold off or developed — leaving some of them encased in other buildings, as if they were sinking into the city.

In 1984, Quito granted many of the castles architectural protection, but the economic forces were simply too strong, Arias said. Chinese dinner recipes for two In a neighborhood zoned for high-rises, the castles were seen as a burden.

“People who owned the homes felt like they were being punished,” she said. Italian dinner recipes for two “They were stuck with, say, a two-story house, while their neighbor could build a 10- or 12-story building.”

Owners sought loopholes and sometimes destroyed the buildings in the dead of night. Best italian dinner party recipes At least four Vinci buildings were completely demolished and replaced by office buildings, Lopez said. Easy italian dinner party recipes Crowded castle

And the ones that have been saved often reflect the city’s economic tensions.

In 2013, a development group bought Castillo Larrea — Vinci’s original masterpiece with the moat and drawbridge — and built a 16-story tower next to it that dwarfs the once-imposing castle.

Arias said the developers followed the letter of the law (the bottom stories of the office complex are made out of glass so the building can be seen from the street) but she admits the castle’s “essence” is lost.

Lopez, the journalist, said the city made a mistake by not recognizing that the castles’ surroundings are also part of their architectural charm.

“At Castillo Larrea, the gardens are gone, the drawbridge is gone,” he said. Best dinner recipes with ground beef “It’s a huge loss for the city.”

Just across from Larrea is one of Quito’s most intact castles. Traditional peruvian christmas recipes A staircase leads up past two lion statutes, through an ornate doorway — and into the “Rickie” department store.

Jose Cueva bought the building in 1979 but said it was never his intention to preserve it.

“I’m a merchant,” he explained on a recent weekend. Easy mexican dessert recipes with pictures “For me, everything is for sale except my wife and children.”

But over the years, after he has seen one castle after another fall to the twin forces of ridicule and real-estate values, he has become protective. Authentic mexican food recipes with pictures When a company recently offered him “good money” to turn the building into a gas station, he felt it was his civic duty to reject it.

“I’m a Quiteno, and I remember that this used to be one of the prettiest parts of the city,” he said. French recipes cookies “I didn’t want to be part of the problem.”

It’s too soon to say the castles can survive the onslaught, but they are getting more recognition.

Arias said the municipality of Quito is reviewing its preservation plans and trying to find ways to provide incentives to castle owners “so they won’t see them as a burden.”

And Lopez recently started giving tours of the Mariscal Sucre neighborhood, where Vinci’s work plays a starring role

“Our first tour was in December,” he said. French cuisine recipes with pictures “It was a total hit.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *