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AMBATO


Ambato is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, and is located on the Ambato river, in the center of Ecuador. It is an important business, transport and mountain tourism center. The city, which has suffered the effects of several earthquakes, is situated in a fertile area at the foot of Chimborazo Volcano. Ambato is also named the "Garden of Ecuador", because of its production of peaches, apples, pears, grapes, oranges, strawberries, sugar cane, cereals and all kinds of vegetables. Its industrial production is based on textiles, flowers, fruit preserves, fur items, rubber, wine and furniture. Very close to Ambato, the troops led by General Antonio Jose de Sucre won an important battle during the war for independence from Spain. Its population was 65,720 in the year 2000.

The settlement of Ambato was destroyed by an earthquake in 1698, and the handful of survivors founded a new city by the same name in its present location after a battle with the native Quisapinchas. Ambato became an official Villa in 1759 by a decree issued by the king of Spain. Throughout their history, Ambato and the province of Tungurahua have repeatedly suffered the scourges of earthquakes and the volcanic eruptions of both the Cotopaxi and the Tungurahua. One of these tragic occasions was in the year 1797, when earthquakes took place coinciding with volcanic eruptions that seriously affected several towns. The most recent earthquake in the area was on August 5, 1949, damaging Ambato and destroying Pelileo. This tragic event caused thousands of deaths and injuries, destroying homes, roads and buildings.

This province was occupied by ancient cultures. According to archaeologists, Tungurahua was settled by different cultures such as the Macaji, the Puruha and the Cosango-Pillaro, in 200, 500 and 700 AD respectively. Waves of immigrants arrived from the east. When the Incas arrived, the Puruha nation occupied the districts now included within the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo. An old chronicle reports that "Hambato" was an independent native state including the tribes of Huapantis, Pillaros, Quisanpichas, Izambas and Hambatos. These natives traditionally held that their ancestors had come from the east.

After the founding of Quito, the Spanish conquistadors led by Benalcazar invaded this territory, overcoming the native resistance led by the brave Indian patriot, Rumiñahui. Once the Spaniards had settled the area, they distributed the land among themselves, and the so-called encomiendas (forced native labor communities) were created, originating the exploitation of and human rights abuses against the natives. Monks of the Dominican Order founded the township of Baños in 1553, as a doorway for the evangelization of the tribes of the Amazon. In 1570 Antonio Clavijo created the first official settlement in the area, with the name of San Juan de Ambato. Over the next five years he also founded the towns of Pillaro, Pelileo, Paute and Quero. At the Real Audiencia de Quito (Quito Royal Land Tribunal), when the city of Riobamba was promoted to the category of a Villa, both Ambato and Mocha were included as Tenencias (holdings).

Tours

Among the places that appear on every tour are the following:

The house of Montalvo (museum, library and mausoleum), the quinta of Mera with its ancient mansion surrounded by gardens, the quinta of Montalvo, with its equally beautiful setting, and the quinta of Luis A. Martinez.

Another very attractive area of Ambato is the so-called Flores Trail, following the Ambato upriver to very picturesque villages such as: Tilulun, Aguajan, Quindivana, Siguitag, Manzana-Huaico, Calamaca, Cunuyacu, Rio Colorado and Poyos.

Among the city's museums are the following: The Natural Science (ethnography and archaeology) Museum in Bolivar National School and the Luis A. Martinez Art Museum in the Muncipality building.

Fruit and Flower Festival

One of the main attractions in this great Ambato festival is the celebration of the "Blessing of Flowers, Fruit and Bread", a religious ceremony that takes place in the courtyard of the Cathedral, presenting a number of singular allegories based on the flowers and fruit grown and the bread produced from the soil of our "Mother Earth".

Pillaro

Two roadways connect Ambato with the town of Pillaro located to the northeast at an altitude of 2,803 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 13°Celsius. Apples and sweet potatoes are this region's main agricultural riches.

Pelileo

Pelileo lies some 20 km from Ambato along a roadway that leads east, at an altitude of 2,592 meters above sea level. This town was buried by the 1949 earthquakes, but has been rebuilt and is located in a predominantly agricultural area.

Examples of the significant influence of Spanish culture in this area are the numerous beautiful churches it contains, among which we can mention:


Cathedral church
Cathedral - Ambato, Baños Ecuador This is a modern building standing out from its urban context due to its colossal size. Built to replace the "Iglesia Matriz de Ambato", which was severely damaged by the 1949 earthquake, it was inaugurated on December 12, 1954.

The Church of the Miraculous Medal
This imposing neo-gothic type building was erected around 1900. Its sober outlines and grandeur make it a true architectural gem in the city.

Church of Eternal Succor
Standing out with its sober lines against a colorful landscape, this Redemption Church adorns the Ficoa district, attracting a great number of the faithful to its liturgy.

Remember, in Ambato we are always ready to welcome you.
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