Plaza de San Francisco has been a major square for hundreds of years. During the first millennium, nomadic tribes called Quitu lived in the northern Andes. They exchanged goods here in a marketplace they named Tianguez. After the Inca warrior Pachacuti conquered them in 1463, this became the epicenter for the Kingdom of Quito and the location of an Inca temple. When the Spanish captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa in 1533, his palace and military buildings around this plaza were destroyed by his loyalists to prevent their takeover by the Spaniards. To celebrate their victory, the Spanish renamed the city San Francisco de Quito. Then they built an enormous church and monastery of the same name overlooking this square. Most of that amazing history seems lost among the cobblestones. Stand among the pigeons and admire the surrounding landmarks still gracing Plaza de San Francisco.