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10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS

Mitad del Mundo Monument [6 Museums]

Mitad del Mundo Monument is a cute museum park at the equator line featuring a 1736 French Geodesic study. Getting there and what to do.

 

Carried out by the French Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the Spanish government, the objective was to prove the flattening of the poles by measuring the earth at a location near the equator and another meridian in Sweden. Unfortunately, the mission did not leave a measuring mark in the field. In 1936, geographer Luis Tufiño measured with the equipment available at the time, the location of the equator of the equator and erected a small monument at a distance of about 25km from the center of Quito. In reality, the location was about 240m south of the equator set by the World Geodetic System WGS84. As the original landmark had already become rather famous, the province of Pichincha constructed a museum park, which was inaugurated in 1982, in which the original monument was replaced by a 30 m high monument with a 4.5 m globe on the top and an overlook with a spectacular view over the valley. The older monument was moved to Calacalí, a small town 7 km away.

 

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In its interior, the monument houses the modest but charming Ethnographic Museum Mitad del Mundo featuring objects and scenes of activities of the indigenous cultures of Ecuador. On weekends, musical and cultural events are organized for tourists under a roofed but open plaza surrounded by restaurants and art shops in a colonial style complex. A yellow line runs from the monument to the plaza, suggesting to be the equator where tourists have had their pictures taken, supposedly with one foot on the Northern and the other foot on the Southern Hemisphere.

 

The park also has some other attractions, such as a small planetarium, center displaying the geodesic mission, a miniature model of Quito and an art display about the artist Guyasamin. Tour guides often perform tricks that supposedly only work on the equator, such as water flowing both counter-clockwise and clockwise, balancing eggs on end, etc., but in reality they are mere tricks un-related to being on or near the equator.

 

About 200 m northeast of the park is a small private attraction, the Intiñan Solar Museum, supposedly on the real equator, but that still is about 40 m off.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Main promenade.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: entrance with flags.

The main promenade towards the monument.

The park is tastefully designed with flags of Latin American nations, welcoming visitors at the entrance.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Monument.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: visitors in front of the monument.

The monument is an imposing modern landmark, with in its interior the ethnographic museum and on the top an overlook over the valley.

 

Visitors posing in front of the monument.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Mitad del Mundo monument with flags.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Children opposite from the equator line

The Mitad del Mundo Monument, surrounded by flags in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape.

The yellow Equator Line symbolizing the equator, where tourists have their picture taken, supposedly with one foot on the Northern and the other foot on the Southern hemisphere.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: View of the valley from the monument.

The view of the park and the valley from the monument.

 

Restaurants and art shops are housed in colonial style buildings.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: garden.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Guayasamin Pavilion.

Tasteful gardens in the park.

 

The Guayasamin Pavilion.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Ethnographic Pavillion

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Display Ethnographic Pavilion.

Hosts at the Ethnographic Pavilion.

 

Display at the Ethnographic Pavilion inside the Equator Monument.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Geodesic Pavilion.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Old Quito Map during the Geodesic Mission.

The Geodesic Pavilion.

A map of Quito during the days of the geodesic mission.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Planetarium

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Model of Quito

The Planetarium.

A miniture model of Quito in the Quito Pavilion gives a nice overview of old town Quito.

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Ecuador Pavilion

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Inti Nan Museum.

Ecuador Pavilion

The Inti-Ñan Museum, just outside the Mitad del Mundo city

 

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: The Nestor Kirchner building, the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, located at the Mitad del Mundo, opened end 2014.

10 MITAD DEL MUNDO MONUMENT FACTS: Nestor Kirchner Building.

Another Mitad del Mundo fact is the very important  Nestor Kirchner Building, the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, located in front of the park, which opened end 2014. Quito is the headquaters of the UNASUR, the equivalent of the European Union for South America, and comparable to what Brussels is for the European Union.

Mitad del Mundo Monument [6 Museums]

 

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