Qorikancha, which means Golden Compound in Quechua, was a magnificent Inca temple dedicated to Inti, the sun god. It was rebuilt by Pachacuti, a powerful Inca emperor who was also known for rebuilding the city of Cuzco.
The walls of the temple were made up of finely polished, precisely cut and perfectly fitting stones and were covered with sheets of gold. The Qorikancha Temple was also the home to the Inca royal mummies, some of which were believed to be the mummies of former Sapa Incas. Inside the niches, there were golden statues of huacas (sacred objects) and emeralds.
When the Spanish saw Qorikancha, they were awestruck by its beauty and opulence, and yet they plundered the treasure and destroyed the royal mummies. Because the Qorikancha structure was very strong, they were unable to destroy it completely. They left the remaining part of the temple as is and built the Convent of Santo Domingo on top of it.
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