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Quito, Ecuador
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    (December 6, 1534- )
    Capital city of Ecuador
    Area: 324 km²
    Population: 2,671,191 (2014)
    Closest capital city to the Equator
    Officially called San Francisco de Quito
    Named after the Quitu tribe who first settled in the area
    Originally founded near Riobamba by Diego de Almagro (August 15, 1534)
    Moved to its present location by Sebastián de Benalcázar (December 6, 1534)
    Officially declared a city (March 14, 1541)
    Headquarters of the Union of South American Nations
    It is rivals with Ecuador's largest city and economic powerhouse Guayaquil, who often accuse Quito for squandering most of the money Guayaquil makes.
    It is surrounded by several active volcanoes.
    It is prone to earthquakes.
    A realistic broadcast of 'The War of the Worlds' caused widespread panic in the city, with more than twenty people killed in fires set by mobs. (February 12, 1949)
    Con artists are a common sight in the main bus station and even in buses.
    It sometimes reaches 24 in the UV index, meaning that people must take all precautions against intense radiation.
    During the colonial era, it was a center of art that blended Christian and native themes, which developed into the Quito School of Art. (1552)
    It has the largest, best preserved, and least altered historic center in the Americas, causing UNESCO to designate it a World Heritage Site. (September 18, 1978)
    It hosts an annual free of charge music festival since 2003.
    It has a fairly cool climate thanks to its high elevation and proximity to the Equator.
    At 1,376 acres, the Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua is South America's largest urban park, even larger than New York's Central Park.

Credit: Big Lenny

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