Qorikancha: The Temple of the Sun

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The Qorikancha was the center of the Inca world. From it, the imaginary lines called Ceques departed, organizing the sanctuaries or huacas that surrounded Cusco and that gave to the capital of the Tahuantinsuyo its sacred character. Upon its foundations, the Spanish built the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo.

 

Qorikancha’s internal walls, which are covered in gold leaf, would have been remodeled by Inca Pachacutec during the reconstruction of Cusco city around the year 1438. It is not certain who could have built them, but the work appears to be from pre inca times, when the city was dominated by series of “ayllus”, known as the Ayarmacas. These communities called it the Inticancha.

 

The chronicler Inca Garcilaso De la Vega described that there were also many kind of divinities in the Qorikancha and a large garden with golden and silver life size animals, treasures that were delivered to the spanish for the rescue of Inca Atahualpa; the rest was looted, around 1533, in order to be molten and sent to Spain. Finally, by 1560, Juan Pizarro would inherited the “Temple of the Sun”, the most important religious center of the Tahuantinsuyo to the the order of preachers, who are still its owners today.

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Nowadays, the Convent of Santo Domingo is one of the main cultural centers in Cusco. Apart from the art expositions, it is used for events like concerts, conversation groups, audiovisual presentations, book presentations, theatrical plays, festivals and other artistic events.

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