The Coricancha (from the Quechua words Quri Kancha meaning 'Golden Courtyard'), originally named Inti Kancha (' Temple of the Sun') was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God.
The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and the courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was 'fabulous beyond belief'. The majority of the gold collected to fill the ransom room for the Inca Atahualpa was collected from Coricancha.
The Church of Santo Domingo was built on the site, using the ruined foundations of the temple that was flattened by the Spanish in the 17th century, and is a fine example of where Inca stonework has been incorporated into the structure of a colonial building. Major earthquakes have severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand thanks to the sophisticated stone masonry. Nearby is an underground archaeological site museum containing a number of interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles and sacred idols.
- ↑ Cieza, 1998: 224
- ↑ Travel Guide - Coricancha Inca Ruins - Peru http://www.wordtravels.com/Attractions/Countries/Peru/Attractions/Coricancha+Inca+Ruins/
Cieza de León, Pedro (1998) [ca. 1553]. Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook. ed. The Discovery and Conquest of Peru. Chronicles of the New World Encounter. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2146-7.
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