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20 Sucres 1988, Ecuador

in Krause book Number: 121Aa
Years of issue: 22.11.1988
Edition: Prefix LR 8 842 744
Signatures: Gerente General: José Morillo Batlle, Superintendente de Bancos: Gonzalo Córdova Galarza, Vocal: J.J. Pons
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 01.05.1978
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 156 х 68
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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20 Sucres 1988




20 Sucres 1988

La Compañía de Jesús

The Church of the Society of Jesus (Spanish: La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús), known colloquially as la Compañía, is a Jesuit church in Quito, Ecuador. It is among the best-known churches in Quito because of its large central nave, which is profusely decorated with gold leaf, gilded plaster and wood carvings. Inspired by two Roman Jesuit churches - the Chiesa del Gesù (1580) and the Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola (1650) - la Compañía is one of the most significant works of Spanish Baroque architecture in South America. It is Quito's most ornate church and (according to some observers) the country's most beautiful.

Over the 160 years of its construction, the architects of La Compañía incorporated elements of four architectural styles, although the Baroque is the most prominent. Mudejar (Moorish) influence is seen in the geometrical figures on the pillars; the Churrigueresque characterizes much of the ornate decoration, especially in the interior walls; finally the Neoclassical style adorns the Chapel of Saint Mariana de Jesús (in early years a winery).

The floorplan of La Compañía makes a Latin Cross, with central, northern and southern arms; it has the conventional nave, transept, crossing, presbytery, antechamber to the sacristy, sacristy, and chapel. The central nave is topped by a 26-meter high barrel vault constructed of pumice and brick. This vault is decorated with plaster, polychrome and Mudéjar figures in gold leaf. The skyline is capped by two green and gold domes.

The carvings of La Compañía’s main façade were executed entirely of Ecuadorian andesite stone. (Begun in 1722 by Father Leonardo Deubler, work was suspended in 1725 and taken up again in 1760 by Brother Venancio Gandolfi who finished it in 1765.) According to José María Vargas: “A simple comparison of dates explains the difference in styles between the body of the Church and the façade. While the structure of the Church reveals the Renaissance influence (that of Italy brought to Quito by Brother Marcos Guerra), that of the façade reflects the dynamism of the 18th century Baroque, instigated by Bernini’s solomonic columns of the Baldachin of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome”. La Compañía’s columns, statues and larger details were executed in the quarry which the Jesuits had in the Hacienda de Yurac (in the nearby parish of Pintag). The rest of the material was brought from a quarry on the western slopes of El Panecillo, adjacent to the city. That façade, as it has come down to us, has more of the Italian Baroque than of the Spanish Plateresque and, with its high pilasters, a certain accent of the French Baroque.

Design elements include a near symmetrical facade, Moorish influence in the nave, and artwork by artists of the Quito School. A sarcophagus with the remains of Ecuador's patron saint, Mariana de Jesús de Paredes, is located in the base of the central altar.

The interior of La Compañía strongly resembles that of the Church of San Ignacio in Bogotá. This similarity, particularly evident in the design of the stuccos, baseboards, molding and vaults, represents an enhancement of the scheme first employed in the older Bogotá church.


20 Sucres 1988


The coat of arms of Ecuador (Spanish: Escudo de armas del Ecuador) in its current form was established in 1900 based on an older version of 1845.

In the background of the oval shield is the volcano Chimborazo, while the river originating from its base represents the Guayas. They both symbolize the beauty and wealth of the respective regions (Sierra or Costa). The ship on the river is named Guayas as well. In 1841 it was built in Guayaquil and was the first riverine steamship built on the South American west coast; instead of a mast it features a Caduceus representing trade and economy. On top Inti in form of a golden sun surrounded by the astronomical signs for Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer representing the months March to July to symbolize the duration of the March Revolution of 1845.

The condor on top of the shield stretches his wings to symbolize power, greatness and strength of Ecuador. The shield is flanked by four flags of Ecuador. The laurel on the left represents the victories of the republic. The palm leaf on the right side is a symbol of the martyrs of the fight for independence and liberty. The fasces below the shield represents the republican dignity.