Qurikancha, Cusco, Peru
Coricancha, Koricancha, Qoricancha or Qurikancha was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. It is located in Cusco, Peru, which was the capital of the empire.
The surrounding courtyard was formerly filled with golden statues, and the walls and flooring were formerly covered in solid gold sheets. According to Spanish sources, it was “fabulous beyond imagination” in its luxury. The majority of the wealth was collected from Qurikancha when the Spanish demanded a ransom in gold for the life of the Inca leader Atahualpa.
The Church of Santo Domingo was built on the site by Spanish colonists, who demolished the temple and used its foundations for the cathedral. It took over a century to build. This is one of many places where the Spanish used Inca masonry in the construction of a colonial structure.
The church was severely damaged by major earthquakes, but the Inca stone walls, which were fashioned out of massive, closely interlocking stone blocks, are still standing thanks to their ingenious stone construction. A nearby underground archaeological museum houses a number of intriguing artifacts from the site, including mummies, textiles, and holy idols. The Santo Domingo Church and Convent have recently been added to the site.