Qorikancha

The most important Inca archaeological site in Cusco is the temple of Qorikancha. It also happens to be one of the most important Spanish colonial churches in the city.

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Once the richest Inca temple, Qorikancha was covered with gold plated walls. All of the gold was stripped by the Spaniards and the Convento de Santo Domingo was built on top of the temple in 1534. The church and convent were founded by Juan Pizarro, brother of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. The church wasn’t completed and consecrated until 1633.

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha and Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Outside of the convent is a large grassy field called the Jardín Sagrado. From here, you can get incredible panoramic views of the entire convent and the remains of the temple it was built on top of. You can try to imagine what it looked like before the Spaniards arrived, with the original Inca walls plated in gold.

Jardín Sagrado in Cusco, Peru

Jardín Sagrado

Underneath the field is the Museo de Sitio Qorikancha. This museum contains Inca artifacts and a brief history of Qorikancha. It’s not very interesting but it’s included in the Boleto Turístico. It is also the sales point for the boleto.

Museo de Sitio Qorikancha in Cusco, Peru

Museo de Sitio Qorikancha

Admission to the actual convent and temple is S/10. You first walk through a small room with a few artifacts and paintings. Next, you enter the courtyard. One of the rooms attached to it is full of religious art and paintings.

Courtyard of Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Courtyard

Courtyard of Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Courtyard

As you walk around the courtyard, notice the walls and the ceilings. Surrounding the inner walls are several large paintings. The ceiling is very beautifully decorated with intricately detailed tiles placed between wooden slats.

Courtyard of Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Courtyard

Courtyard of Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Courtyard

Remains of the original temple of Qorikancha are located on two sides of the courtyard.

Qorikancha at Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha

Qorikancha at Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha

Qorikancha at Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Qorikancha

Near one part of the temple you will find an original Inca plate made of pure gold and decorated with several symbols.

inca gold plate at Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Inca gold plate

If you walk outside, you will see great views of the Jardín Sagrado and the convent.

Jardín Sagrado in Cusco, Peru

Jardín Sagrado

Jardín Sagrado in Cusco, Peru

Jardín Sagrado

Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru

Convento de Santo Domingo

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