The Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, known simply as la Catedral, is the Catholic cathedral in Quito, Ecuador. Located on the southwestern side of the Plaza de la Independencia (La Plaza Grande), it (and its predecessor building) served as a seat of the Diocese of Quito from 1545 until 1848 when it was elevated to Archdiocese. In 1995, it was elevated to the Cathedral of Ecuador, making it the seniormost Catholic church in the country.
Soon after the founding of the city of San Francisco de Quito (6 December 1534), the entire southern side of the future Plaza Grande was given over to the Church. The first temporary building, raised in the same year by Father Juan Rodriguez-first pastor of the fledgling town-was of adobe with wood frame and thatch roof. With the establishment of a parish of Quito (January 1545), a Bishop-García Díaz Arias-was named and reached the city on April 13 of the following year. Sources