Colonial estate of La Sienega
Ecuador, Lasso

La Sienega - one of Ecuador's oldest colonial estates, from the 17th century belonging to the Marquis of Maens, is located right at the foot of the volcano Cotopaxi. The mansion, built, according to some sources, in 1570, is not only a snow-white pearl of medieval architecture, hidden in the thick of the Ecuadorian national park, but also a place that played a truly important role in the history of the country and science in general. During his travels and expeditions, prominent people of that time stopped at the estate: Charles Marie de la Condamine - a French scientist who participated in a geodetic mission (1736-1744), which determined the real shape of the Earth and pushed the world scientific community to develop a universal measure of length - meter; Alexander von Humboldt is a German naturalist who studied the volcanic activity of Cotopaxi and discovered to the world the variety of flora growing on its slopes, and other famous scientists. During the republican era, the first persons of the state stayed here: Juan Jose Flores - the first president of Ecuador and Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra, whose five presidential governments were a real milestone in Ecuadorian history. Today, the mansion with unique two-meter-thick walls made of volcanic stone is turned into a cozy hotel, immersed in the romance and quiet charm of past years. The grandeur of the estate is emphasized by the graceful and proud hundred-year-old eucalyptus trees lined along the main road, carved gates, the mansion’s interiors, preserved in their original form, well-groomed flowering gardens and birdsong. The silent testimony of the times, the poetry of the events taking place here give unique sensations to the guests of La Sienega, imbued with the Ecuadorian spirit and the continuous mysterious connection of the times.

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