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Coricancha,[1][2][3][4][5] Koricancha,[6][7][8][9] Qoricancha[10] or Qorikancha[11][12] (from Quechua quri gold; kancha enclosure)[13] was the most important temple in the Inca Empire.

Coricancha, Cusco, Perú, 2015-07-31, DD 68.JPG
Coricancha with Convent of Santo Domingo above
Coricancha is located in Peru
Shown within Peru
Location  Peru
Region Andes
Coordinates 13°31′12″S 71°58′32″W / 13.52000°S 71.97556°W / -13.52000; -71.97556Coordinates: 13°31′12″S 71°58′32″W / 13.52000°S 71.97556°W / -13.52000; -71.97556
Type Sanctuary
Periods Late Horizon
Cultures Inca
Depiction of Pachacuti worshipping Inti at Coricancha



Originally named Intikancha or Intiwasi,[11] it was dedicated to Inti, and is located at the old Inca capital of Cusco. Mostly destroyed after the 16th century war with the Spanish conquistadors much of its stonework forms the foundation of the Santo Domingo church and convent.

Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui rebuilt Cusco 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.[14]:68–69,75

The walls were once covered in sheets of gold,[15]:218–219 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 Coricancha.[16]

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 underground archaeological 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.[11]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul (2013). The Americas: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 183. ISBN 9781134259304. 
  2. ^ Krupp, E. C. (2012). Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations. Courier Corporation. pp. 271–272. ISBN 9780486137643. 
  3. ^ Hyland, Sabine (2011). Gods of the Andes: An Early Jesuit Account of Inca Religion and Andean Christianity. Penn State Press. p. 8. ISBN 0271048808. 
  4. ^ Bauer, Brian S. (1998). The Sacred Landscape of the Inca: The Cusco Ceque System. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292792043. 
  5. ^ Bauer, Brian S. (2004). Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. University of Texas Press. pp. 139–158. ISBN 9780292792029. 
  6. ^ "Machu Picchu, la Eternidad de la Piedra". Edición Extraordinaria (in Spanish). Universidad Alas Peruanas. 6 (9): 79–87. 2011. 
  7. ^ DK (2016). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Peru. Penguin. p. 163. ISBN 9781465458919. 
  8. ^ Inc, Encyclopaedia Britannica (2010). Native Peoples of the Americas. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. p. 74. ISBN 9781615353651. 
  9. ^ Compendio histórico del Perú (in Spanish). Editorial Milla Batres. 1993. pp. 586,593. 
  10. ^ "GRUPO ARQUEOLÓGICO DE QORICANCHA". Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  11. ^ a b c Qorikancha, A Homage to the Mystical, Magical, most Famous and Oldest City of the American Continent
  12. ^ Cristóbal Estombelo Taco, Inka taytanchiskunaq kawsay nintayacharispa, Instituto Superior Pùblico La Salle - PROYECTO CRAM II, Urubamba, Cusco 2002 (in Quechua)
  13. ^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  14. ^ de Gamboa, P.S., 2015, History of the Incas, Lexington, ISBN 9781463688653
  15. ^ Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Publishing, ISBN 9781420941142
  16. ^ Cieza de León, Pedro (1998) [ca. 1553]. The Discovery and Conquest of Peru. Chronicles of the New World Encounter. Translated and edited by Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2146-7. 

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