Photo: Museos Quito Ecuador
Actually, there is a place in the world where a person can put one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere. Its name is nothing elaborate but highly illustrative “Mitad del Mundo”, and is one of the most touristic cities of Ecuador. This location is located in the parish of San Antonio, in the Metropolitan District of Quito, at the north of the city, and is owned by the Pichincha province’s prefecture. Its main attraction is well known: a huge 30 meters high monument, and a single yellow line on the floor separating the two hemispheres.
The finding of such peculiarity took place in the mid-eighteenth century, in a French and Spanish geodesic mission (In that time, Ecuador belonged to the Spanish empire), which was continued in 1936, by the Ecuadorian geographer, Luis Tufiño, who located the signals left by that mission. Since its discovery, a 10 meters’ monument was built there, then, it was moved in 1979 to the neighboring city of Calacalí and replaced by the current monument, a 30 meters high monolith made of iron and cement coated with andesite stone, and topped by a metal globe. There is a museum about the Ecuador’s native culture inside the monument, and outside, each side points to a different cardinal point, with engravings and historical references.
A beautiful colonial city
From this monument, the boundary line of the two hemispheres which crosses the square is drawn, and thousands of tourists are photographed here each year. The tourist landmark goes beyond this milestone, the visitors will be able to explore a beautiful colonial style city, which has other attractions to offer, such as the miniature city (In whose place a replica of the oldest church from the Spanish era), the Planetarium or Solar Museum, and the beautiful landscapes that surround it. A perfect place of confluence between culture, tradition, science and architecture.