Location

The Santo Domingo Church and Convent is situated in Plazoleta Santo Domingo, 5 minutes away from Plaza de Armas in Cusco; the easiest way to get there from this point is crossing Loreto Street and then passing through “Pampa del Castillo”.


Description

The Convent of Santo Domingo in Cusco was built on the foundation of the Templo del Sol and Qorikancha. The Catholic temple has been erected on the same Inca temple, as though demonstrating the destruction and annulment of the ancient cult; today it becomes the apse of the Dominican temple.


History

The Santo Domingo Temple was built on the lands that were distributed according to the brother of conquistador Francisco Pizarro by the year 1534 (Juan Pizarro). The Qorikancha was one of the most important temples for the Incas, reason for which the Catholic Church wasn´t going to let the opportunity pass to demonstrate its dominance, by constructing a temple over it. The Qorikancha was built in 2 parts: the first by the Inca Manco Capac and the second part by Pachacuteq who gave him the best finishes and adorned it with the most elegant of his metalwork.
All the jewels that adorned this place were looted and given to the Spanish crown, while some of the lithic pieces were used to build the Church of Santo Domingo. It is worth mentioning that the 1650 earthquake destroyed most of the Catholic temple, while the Inca building suffered no major damage, as if it were a message from the gods.


Attractions

The Santo Domingo Church has 3 naves and a construction platform in the shape of a Greek cross; the façade is Plateresque and the church tower is baroque, with a tendency of Churrigueruesque.

Both the church and the Dominican convent were built over the structure of Qorikancha (golden enclosure), the main Inca temple (dedicated to the cult of the sun) and whose inner walls, according to chroniclers, were covered by sheets of gold. There are many legends that involve the Church of Santo Domingo; among the most outstanding is that of “El Choclo de Oro”; the legend says that a group of explorers went into one of the Chincanas (caves) that are in Sacsayhuaman and 2 months after they had ventured inside the cave, one of them appeared in the Church of Santo Domingo; at the same time, blows were heard on the wall of the church while the Sunday Mass was unfolding, when finally, the explorer came out breaking one of the walls. He was carrying in his hand a life-size corn cob made of gold. It is said this piece was melted and with it the crown of the virgin was built, which is currently located in the altar of the church.


Schedule

Monday to Saturday: 8:30a.m.-5:30p.m. Sundays and holidays: 2p.m.-5p.m.
Cost: The price is the same, both for nationals and foreigners Adult: S /. 15.00 Students: S /. 8.00 (on presentation of card)