Qurikancha (Quechuaquri gold, kancha enclosure, enclosed place, yard, a frame, or wall that encloses, hispanicized spelling Coricancha), originally named Inti Kancha (Quechua inti sun) or Inti Wasi (Quechua for "sun house"), was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. It was one of the most revered temples of the capital city of Cusco.
Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui rebuilt Cusco and the House of the Sun, enriching it with more oracles and edifices, and adding plates of fine gold. He provided vases of gold and silver for the Mama-cunas, nuns, to use in the veneration services. Finally, he took the bodies of the seven deceased Incas, and enriched them with masks, head-dresses, medals, bracelets, sceptres of gold, placing them on a golden bench.:68–69,75
The walls were once covered in sheets of solid gold,:218–219 and its adjacent courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was "fabulous beyond belief". When the Spanish required the Inca to raise a ransom in gold for the life of the leader Atahualpa, most of the gold was collected from Qurikancha.
The Spanish colonists built the Church of Santo Domingo on the site, demolishing the temple and using its foundations for the cathedral. Construction took most of a century. This is one of numerous sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building. Major earthquakes severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand due to their sophisticated stone masonry. Nearby is an underground archaeological museum, which contains numerous interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles, and sacred idols from the site. The site now also includes the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo.
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^Cristóbal Estombelo Taco, Inka taytanchiskunaq kawsay nintayacharispa, Instituto Superior Pùblico La Salle - PROYECTO CRAM II, Urubamba, Cusco 2002 (in Quechua)
^Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary): quri. s. Oro.kancha. s. Cerco. Marco o muro que rodea alguna cosa. Kancha. || s. Corral. Cerca. || s. Plaza. Lugar o espacio cercado.
^ abQorikancha, A Homage to the Mystical, Magical, most Famous and Oldest City of the American Continent