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Qoricancha - Temple Of The Sun

Also called Koricancha or Coricancha, is one of the most important temples of the Tahuantinsuyo.

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According to the Inca conception, the Qorikancha was the religious center of Cusco, geographical and political center. The temple of the Qorikancha, was the place where he paid homage to the highest Inca god, the "Inti" (sun). "Qori" means worked gold, its Spanish form is cori. "Kancha" means enclosed place, limited by walls. Hence, the name means "enclosed site containing gold".


The Santo Domingo square is located in the current site of the temple and convent of Santo Domingo, built on the remains of the Qorikancha and extends to El Sol Avenue.


The description made by Garcilaso is in harmony with what is still standing today. Although it is only a pale reflection of what the Qorikancha really was in Inca times, it is not the same as what it is today.

The Temple of the Sun

It was the main temple of the entire Qorikancha, it occupied more than half the width of the current Church of Santo Domingo. Garcilaso tells that inside this temple were the embalmed bodies of the children of the Sun placed by seniority in chairs and on gold tables, the walls were covered with gold plates, there was a disk representing the figure of the Sun of a gold plate thicker than the other plates that covered the temple. At the western end corresponds to the current drum overlooking the Av. Sol; its eastern end reached the current atrium of the church.

The Temple of the Moon

This temple was closer to the Temple of the Sun, since the Moon was considered the wife of the Sun. This building was lined with silver planks, and there was a representation of the Moon made of silver. Inside were kept the mummies of the Coyas placed in order of antiquity. Approximately half of the Temple was demolished by the Spaniards to build the nave of the church of Santo Domingo. It occupies part of the western side of the inner courtyard of the Qorikancha.

The Temple of Venus and the Stars

It is located near the Temple of the Moon, but separated by a beautiful alley, dedicated to Venus and the seven cabrillas and all the other stars. The Incas called Venus “Chasca” which means star. According to historians, the Inca used to stand in this temple to be deified or to witness feasts or sacrifices performed in the rectangular courtyard. It occupies part of the western side of the inner courtyard of the Qorikancha.

The Temple of Illapa or Chuki Illapa

Illapa or ChukiIllapa mean at the same time lightning, lightning, and thunder. The temple is in front of the temple of Venus, it has three doors of simple jamb, equidistant and slightly trapezoidal, it also has a window on each side wall.

The K'uychi or Rainbow Temple

In this temple the Rainbow was worshipped, which, according to ancient belief, came from the Sun. It has identical architectural characters than of the Temple of Illapa. A part of this temple was demolished by the Spaniards to build the buildings of the Dominican Convent. It is located to the north of the Illapa Temple and in front of the Temple of the Moon, on the eastern side of the inner courtyard of the Qorikancha.


Almost all the peoples of the world, at all times, built large plazas in front of their temples. Inti Pampa (name that translates as Plain of the Sun) is the place where the nobles, their courts, service personnel, dancers, etc. stayed when the Inca and the nobility moved to the Qorikancha during festivities. This site currently corresponds to the Plaza de Santo Domingo, apparently its limits and extension have not suffered almost no variation. It is located north of what was the Qorikancha.

The Solar Garden

It became the great deposit of offerings that all the subjugated and confederate nations brought to the Sun God, the offerings consisted of representations of flora and fauna of the Tahuantinsuyo. According to some historians, these offerings made in gold and silver were of natural size in quantity that filled surprisingly. The Spaniards, because of the number of the terraces, called it El Jardín Solar (The Solar Garden). In colonial times it became an orchard of the Dominican Friars. It is located in the western part of the Qorikancha, it can be seen from the Sun Avenue in all its extension.

The Fountains

There were five water fountains, the origins of the water in the fountains was a guarded secret. The fountains had religious significance and were decorated with precious metals. They were located throughout the extension of the Qorikancha, currently we can see a fountain with octagonal corners in the courtyard of the Qorikancha.


Monday to Saturday: 08:30 to 17:30 hrs - Sundays: 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Cost: S/.15.00 for foreign or national tourist (Not included in the Tourist Ticket).

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