The Church and Monastery of St. Francis, commonly known as el San Francisco, is a 16th-century Roman Catholic complex in Quito, Ecuador. It fronts onto its namesake Plaza de San Francisco. The imposing structure has the distinction of being the largest architectural ensemble among the historical structures of colonial Latin America and for this reason is sometimes known as "El Escorial of the New World". The style evolved over almost 150 years of construction (1534-1680) through earthquakes and changes in artistic fashion. The Church houses the city's beloved Virgin of Quito (1734).
Construction of the building began a few weeks after the founding of the city in 1534 and ended in 1604. The founder of the church was Franciscan missionary Jodoco Ricke. Sources