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Qorikancha, Cuzco, Peru

Archaeology and the Great Churches of the World

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Qorikancha, Cuzco, Peru

The Qorikancha (also called Intiwasa or Sun Temple) was enlarged in 1438 by Pachacuti, who also built Machu Picchu. Built atop it today is the Santo Domingo (St. Dominic) Convent and Church, but the smooth basalt foundations are still extant.

Yan-Di Chang
The modern day city of Cuzco in the Andes Mountains of Peru was founded, according to legend, by Manco Capac, the first emperor of the Inca civilization. Unlike many ancient capitals, Cuzco was primarily a governmental and religious capital, with few residential structures; and it was the Inca capital city from the mid 15th century up until it was conquered by the Spanish in 1532.

The most architecturally interesting structure in the city of Cuzco has to be the one called the Qorikancha. The Qorikancha (also called Intiwasa or Sun Temple) was said to have been built by Manco Capac; but certainly it was built before 1438 when it was enlarged by Pachacuti, who also built Machu Picchu. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish destroyed the Qorikancha and built the Santo Domingo (St. Dominic) Convent and Church on the ruins, but the smooth basalt foundations, typical of Inca architecture, are still extant.
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