Qorikancha or Qurikancha (Quechua quri gold, kancha enclosure, enclosed place, yard, a frame, or wall that encloses, hispanicized spelling Coricancha), originally named Inti Kancha (Quechua inti sun) or Inti Wasi (Quechua for “sun house”), was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. It was one of the most revered temples of the capital city of Cuscoco.
Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui rebuilt Cuzco and the House of the Sun, enriching it with more oracles and edifices, and adding plates of fine gold. He provided vases of gold and silver for the Mama-cunas, nuns, to use in the veneration services. Finally, he took the bodies of the seven deceased Incas, and enriched them with masks, head-dresses, medals, bracelets, sceptres of gold, placing them on a golden bench.
The walls were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and its adjacent courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was “fabulous beyond belief”. When the Spanish required the Inca to raise a ransom in gold for the life of the leader Atahualpa, most of the gold was collected from Qurikancha.
The Spanish colonists built the Church of Santo Domingo on the site, demolishing the temple and using its foundations for the cathedral. Construction took most of a century. This is one of numerous sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building. Major earthquakes severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand due to their sophisticated stone masonry. Nearby is an undergroundarchaeological museum, which contains numerous interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles, and sacred idols from the site. The site now also includes the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo.
Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
General ticket 10 soles; students 5 soles.
Entrance is free for children under the age of 10 years.
Entrance is free for all residents of Cuzcoco.
CHURCH OF SAINT DOMINIC
Monday to Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.