Posted by: danielfee | September 10, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 09-10-2012

Iglesia Santo Domingo – Cusco, Peru

Courtyard Iglesia Santo Domingo

The most important place of worship in the Inca empire was the Temple of the Sun (El Templo del Qoricancha) . Today it is a church, the Iglesia Santo Domingo. The Temple of the Sun was the most magnificent complex in Cusco. The walls and floors were once covered in 700 sheets of solid gold studded with emeralds and turquoise and its adjacent courtyard was filled with golden statues. The mummified bodies of the deceased Inca leaders, dressed in fine clothing and adornments, were kept on thrones of gold and tended to by women who were selected for this honor. The 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 Inca leader Atahualpa, most of the gold was collected from the temple.

 

The Spanish colonists built the Church of Santo Domingo on the site, demolishing the temple and using its foundations for the cathedral. 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. Many of these stones are also on display under the arcades surrounding the beautiful courtyard.

 

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Responses

  1. Isn’t that Mitt’s house — walls and floors of solid gold studded with emeralds and turquoise?


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