Qorikancha Peru is an unmissable attraction is Cusco. The temple was the holiest site of Incas. Also known as the temple of sun, the Spanish conquistadors demolished the golden glory and built the Santo Domingo cathedral on its remains. They however retained the basement of Qorikancha. This is one of the numerous sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building. There is so much history that lies within the temple and it will certainly be a trip you will never forget.
It’s important that you know about the history of this beautiful temple in Cusco to help you understand it better. Qorikancha was a religious complex. It was a Crown Jewel of the ancient Inca Capital located near Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. That’s not all this temple was known for; it was also known as the Golden Enclosure and was dedicated to the god that existed in the Incan Relm, Viracocha. Quilla was the Moon Goddess and Inti was the Sun God.
The last Incan Emperor Atahualpa was captured by Spanish viceroy Francisco Pizarro. He demanded a ransom to release Atahualpa. Most of the gold and silver from Qorikancha were stripped and melted and were handed over to Spanish. However, instead of releasing him, true to the colonial way, they murdered him.
There were many other religious conflicts that took place in Cusco. Rumors have it that there are mummified bodies of past Incas Kings around the temple or within the walls. Story claims that once the mummified bodies were brought outside during the day to bless with the rays of sun (Inti) and were offered food as well as drinks before taking the bodies back inside.
Qorikancha used to serve as an observatory form to Incan priests. It was from here they monitored all celestial activities. There wasn’t as much documentation regarding this as everyone hoped so when you tour this area today, you can imagine what it was like. The wall still stands even though it has endured many violent shakings from earthquakes that levelled todays Cusco colonial buildings.
Once you are inside the temple, you will be in an octagon-shaped courtyard. This yard was originally beautifully coated in 55 kg of solid gold which was masterfully placed perfectly. Going on through the courtyard, you will find the Inca Chambers on both sides. The right-side chamber is a bit larger than the left. This was said to be the temple of the moon as well as the stars. It was covered with solid silver. The walls are tapered in an upward direction, allowing today’s guests to see how extraordinary the Inca architecture was.
Once you leave the chambers, there will be smaller temples on the opposite side of the courtyard. These temples were dedicated to the mighty thunder and the rainbow.
On the other side of this beautiful complex, you will be able to view the floor that is in front of the chambers that date from Inca times. This floor is made using pebbles.
If you really want to learn about the history, you will want to visit the Qoricancha Site Museum. This museum captures the past in every way, taking the visitors from the beginning through chronological evolution. You will see pieces of ceramics left from the Inca period. You will also see textiles, sculptures, paintings, and more.
Qorikancha Opening Hours
Monday-Saturday (0830 AM to 0530 PM)
Sundays & Public Holidays (0200 PM to 0500 PM)
Qorikancha Entrance Fees
Adult (15 Soles) | Students (8 Soles)
If you sign up for the Cusco City Tour with us a guided tour of Qorikancha is a part of the itinerary.