Didem Doğan

Coricancha Temple and Cusco Cathedral

Two important temples in Cuzco, the first one is the temple built by Incas, the Quri Kancha Temple, the second one is the cathedral right at the square.

Quri Kancha temple, or the Into Mancha temple, The Sun Temple, is the temple of the Inkas built before the colonial era. The floors and the ceilings were covered with gold before the Spanish took all of them. For Inkas, gold did not have an exchange value, or a material value, that’s why at first they agreed to give all the gold to the Spanish, thinking that they would take it and leave, and not foreseeing their ambition to stay and rule their land. Santo Domingo Convent was built on this first temple of the Inkas, despite all the earthquakes the only stones that remained were the ones put by the Inkas.

We are then at the main square, Plaza de las Armas, in the city of Cusco, at one side is the Cusco Cathedral from the 17th century, originally called la Cathedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asunción, referring to the Virgin Mary. It has a rectangular shape and the three central parts opening to three doors at the façade. The Cathedral was built on another Inca temple; viracocha and the Inka Palace of Suntur Wasi. It is sad to imagine the workers who built the cathedral were the local Inkas who lost their independence war in Saqsaywaman, where they took most of the stones to build it. We see jaguar heads at the doors, which shows a symbolic continuity of the Inca religion.