Qorikancha - Temple of the Sun (Peru)

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Quorikancha was originally named Intikancha or Intiwasi and was built around 1438-1471 CE. Located at the old Inca capital of Cusco, it was mostly destroyed after the 16th century war with the Spanish conquistadors. Today, the early stonework serves as the foundation for the Santo Domingo church and convent.

To build Quorikancha, the Inca used ashlar masonry, which is composed of similarly sized cuboid stones (an no stones had any slight imperfection or break).  This type of masonry showed the importance of the building through the extent of the labor necessary to build.

The walls were once covered in sheets of gold, and an adjacent courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was “fabulous beyond belief”. The Spanish required the Inca to raise a ransom in gold for the life of one of its leaders, Atahualpa, effectively stripping Quorikancha of all of its gold.

After major earthquakes, the church has been severely damaged, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand.

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