Cuenca City of Ecuador


Located in the Paute River valley of the Andes Mountain in the south of Ecuador, Cuenca is the capital city of Azuay Province, the third largest city in the country and is 442 kilometers from capital Quito. With a population of 417,600 and an elevation of 2,543 meters above sea level, Cuenca has a pleasant climate and is like spring all the year round with an annual temperature of about 10℃.

The city was first built in 1557, and is on the site of the ancient city Tom Bamber of the Inca Empire.

As the biggest business center in the southern mountainous area, Cuenca is the distribution place for grains, fruits, cattle, leather, gold, silver and marbles, etc. The industries include wool textile, leather making, food processing, tires, sawmilling, brewing, potteries and plastic The area is especially famous for its Panama hats, lace knitting, gold and silver jewelries and some other handicrafts.

As the national culture and art center as well as the famous tourist destination, Cuenca is abundant in its numerous historical and cultural sites and its 19th century buildings with rich classical styles, and it is listed by the UN as “a human cultural heritage city”. It is called “Athens of Ecuador” because it was the hometown of many famous intellectuals and poets of the country. The city is well developed in education and culture and houses a university built in 1868 and art colleges, churches and museums in the city. Cuenca University is famous throughout South America.

Cuenca established sister-city relationship with Xi’an on September 8, 2010.


[Source:Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Xi’an City]