The Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco (Church and Monastery of St. Francis), colloquially known as El San Francisco, is a colonial styled church and monastery located in Quito. Construction works began few weeks after the founding of the city in 1534 and ended in 1604. The founder of the church is Franciscan missionary Joedco Ricke.
The construction of the Church and Convent of St. Francis began around 1550, 16 years after Quito was founded by Spanish conquistadors, and was finished in approximately 1680. The building was officially inaugurated in 1605.
With the support of European Franciscans, the Belgian Friar Jodoco Ricke and Friar Pedro Gosseal, who came to the city two years after its founding, acquired land to the west side of the city's main plaza. This plot was where the palace of the Inca ruler Atahualpa had once stood. In addition to being a market center for indigenous Ecuadorians, it was also location of the military seats of the chiefs of indigenous armies. All told, the place had enormous strategic and historical significance for the indigenous people the Franciscans wanted to evangelize.
It is not known who designed the original plans for the complex, though the most accepted theory is that they were sent from Spain, based on the topographical study of Ricke and Gosseal. It is also possible that architects came from Spain for the construction of the monastery, or that Ricke and Gosseal managed the entire construction.