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Hacienda San Agustín del Callo

One and a quarter hours from Quito, capital of Ecuador, stands the beautiful and little known colonial Hacienda of San Agustín de Callo. Built on the site of an Inca palace, one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador, and the point furthest north from Cuzco of Imperial style construction, this working farm offers an unrivalled glimpse into Ecuador's rich and colourful past.

Since the 15th century San Agustin de Callo has served as Inca fortress, Augustinian convent and temporary home for the French Geodesic Mission whose scientific results helped to determine the true shape of the planet.

Famous visitors include Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa who were appointed by the King of Spain to host the Geodesic Mission in 1736, the awesome scientific enterprise organized and led by Charles-Marie de la Condamine; Alexander von Humboldt German scientist and renowned naturalist and explorer and the illustrious English mountain climber Edward Whymper.

The varied and influential inhabitants of San Agustín de Callo have contributed to the unique blend of architecture which creates the individual character of the house. In the main courtyard it is possible to see three distinct styles, Inca (Imperial style – 15th century, construction style which the Incas used for their temples and palaces), Spanish Colonial (18th century) and Republican (19th century).

The Hacienda has been written about by the famous chronicler Cieza de León (1536). This Inca Palace or temple was built by Tupac-Yupanqui (Inca Emperor) or Huayna-Capac in the 15th century. San Agustin de Callo constitutes the only lived in museum of Inca Imperial and Spanish Colonial style.

 

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